Despite Obstacles, Student Keeps Sights High
Tiffany Sorenson '08 is pursuing a major in integrated media and business with an eye towards becoming a Web designer. She also plays flute for the University orchestra, is the treasurer of Theta Nu Alpha Sorority and a member of the Circle K, a community service club. Sorenson also uses a wheelchair.
She is one of about 60 students on campus with documented disabilities, a number that has tripled since 1999. Most days Sorenson goes about her business with barely a hitch. "Everyone has been really accepting and helpful," she said. "If I need anything I know there will be people to help."
However, the physical layout of the campus, much of it built before there was much awareness of disability or, indeed, many special needs students, sometimes presents challenges for someone who uses a wheelchair.
"It's difficult because a lot of the buildings are difficult to get into. Usually there is one entry and I have to go out of my way."
Sorenson has faced situations where construction or other campus activities blocked her only route to class. In one instance, she couldn't get into the building for a class at all.
"I get really irritated sometimes," she admitted, "and I get frustrated. But they try to fix it quickly." In the case of the inaccessible building, the University changed the class to another building so she could attend.
Sorenson said her "trust circle" of friends really helps her. "I try to pretty much do everything on my own. It's weird, because I don't think of myself as having a disability."