Welcome to Campbell Hall
1787 Neil Ave. Columbus, Ohio 43210
Location: The Ohio State University Main Campus
Group Members: Kristan Loychik, Natalie Robek, & Kaitlyn Willming
Introduction: Our group chose to conduct an accessibility audit on the first floor of Campbell Hall. Campbell Hall is an academic building located on the southwest side of Ohio State’s campus main campus that was originally built in 1916. The building is primarily used for classes and offices in the Human Sciences Department on campus.
Background Information: As students in the Disability Studies 2277 class at Ohio State we have been tasked with performing an accessibility audit on a building of our choice on campus. An accessibility audit is simply an evaluation of how well a space accommodates for those with a disability. For example, providing wheelchair accessible entrances, ramps, and bathrooms, as well as providing other amenities such as braille for room numbers and signs. Our group followed a checklist compiled with standards provided by the American Disabilities Act (ADA), and assessed aspects of the first floor of Campbell Hall. The following information includes our findings and recommendations for making this space more accessible for everyone.
Entrances: Of the seven entrances into Campbell Hall, two of these entrances are ADA accessible. Near the southeast corner of the building, there is a wheelchair ramp with railings. At both ADA accessible entrances, there are automatic buttons that open and close the doors.
- Width of entrance door: 38 inches (ADA requires 32 inches)
- Height of doorknob/opening mechanism from the ground: 37 inches (ADA requires lower than 48 inches)
Restrooms: On the first floor of Campbell Hall, there is one women’s and one men’s restroom. The women’s restroom has five standard stalls and no handicap stall. The men’s restroom has two urinals, one standard stall and a handicap stall. The entrance door to the restroom is wide enough to be ADA accessible, however the individual, standard stalls are not. The sinks have wheelchair clearance and soap dispensers are within arms reach from a seated distance. Although we applaud the unscented soap, the lever to pull the paper towels down seemed to be a questionable distance from a seated position.
- Width of entrance door: 38 inches (ADA requires 32 inches)
- Height of light switch from the ground: 51 inches (ADA requires less than 5 feet)
- Height of paper towel dispenser from the ground: 56 inches (ADA requires less than 5 feet)
- Sink height from the ground: 27 inches (ADA requires 27-34 inches)
- Width of stall: 24 inches (ADA requires 33.5 inches)
- Distance from toilet to wall: 9 inches (ADA requires 12-18 inches)
- Distance from toilet paper dispenser to toilet: 9 inches (ADA required 7-9 inches)
Hallways: The hallways in Campbell Hall are lit with florescent lighting that does not give off noticeable noise. There are several water fountains in Campbell Hall, but not all of them are accessible to someone in a wheelchair. There are no signs pointing to locations such as the elevators or bathrooms, but there are several exit signs. Also, there are only braille signs accompanying room numbers on half of the rooms in the building.
- The hallway width was 92 inches (ADA requires 59 inch minimum)
Parking Lot: A unique feature about Campbell Hall is the parking lot located in the back of the building. All 18 of the parking spots are for OSU Disability Permits. A short distance from the parking lot is one of the two accessible entrances. This entrance has an elevator located immediately when one enters the building. Overall the parking lot is designed exclusively to be accessible to people with disabilities. The only downfall are a few grates in the ground that could present difficulty maneuvering for people using canes or wheelchairs.
Concerns: A major concern for our group was the accessibility, or lack there of, in the women’s restroom. The doors were heavy and there were no automatic buttons to open them which could present difficulty for someone with a disability. Once inside the restroom the stalls were all extremely narrow and there wasn’t a larger handicap stall. We are very concerned about how someone in a wheelchair would navigate the stalls independently. While there is a wheelchair accessible sink, the knob to release the paper towels seemed to be positioned too high for someone in a sitting position to access. Another concern was the lack of information provided about the location of bathrooms and elevators. Along with this missing information, only half of the room numbers also included the numbers in braille.
Conclusion: Campbell Hall does a good job meeting the ADA requirements, especially considering it was built before the ADA was passed. There are multiple accessible entrances and signs that clearly say what direction the accessible entrances are. There are multiple ramps and elevators for people who have difficulty navigating the stairs. The hallways and doorways are wide enough to meet ADA standards, and several doorways have an automatic button for opening. There aren’t any noticeably strong smells or buzzing noises. The brand new Innovation Center is a prime example of an accessible space for all types of people, whether it be physically, mentally, or the unique ways we all learn.
That being said, there is always room for improvement. The addition of a larger, ADA approved handicap bathroom stall in the women’s restroom would be an instrumental addition. If this somehow cannot be completed, adding handrails to all the stalls could be a simpler way to improve accessibility in this space. Another easy fix could be adding signs or maps describing the location of bathrooms and elevators. These should also be in braille. Room numbers should also include a braille label accompanying them. All of these suggestions are relatively simple fixes that could greatly improve Campbell Hall for people with disabilities.
ADA Description: https://www.ada.gov/2010ADAstandards_index.htm
All picture credit: Kristan Loychik