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Jonathan Goatcher spent four years of high school involved in student government. While studying to be an athletic trainer at OSU it seemed only natural to get involved in the Associated Students of Oregon State University (ASOSU). Jonathan is currently serving as the ASOSU Task Force Director of Accessibility Affairs. In this position he reevaluates existing policies regarding accessibility issues on campus, not only for people with physical disabilities, but also for people with invisible, and learning disabilities.
Jonathan is learning about accessibility and the challenges that students encounter on campus. He hopes that students facing social issues or misrepresentation on campus will contact ASOSU.
“I would like to be the first point of contact for students with concerns about accessibility issues on campus,” Jonathan said. He believes that the greatest measure of success as the Task Force Director of Accessibility Affairs is “if students feel like they have a voice and a place to turn to.”
He enjoys being part of something bigger than himself and encourages students to explore some of the ways to get involved in ASOSU.
“ASOSU is awesome at being a family not just individuals, it builds a sense of community. We have office hours for students to drop by or email, even if it’s just to run an idea past us,” he said.
During his term as Task Force Director of Accessibility Affairs, Jonathan hopes to make a difference. One way he intends to do this is by creating an accessibility map of OSU. Using a design similar to the Portland Community College campus accessibility map he collaborated with several offices on campus to gather required information. Currently he is working with his peers to transfer the information into an accessible digital format to create the map.
To meet the growing needs of the diverse OSU population he plans to include multiple items on the map in addition to the accessibility features within in each building. A few examples are lactation rooms, gender inclusive restrooms, and water bottle refill stations.
Once finished at OSU, Jonathan hopes to take what he has learned during his time in student government to be an equitable citizen.
“I learned that every project requires community and to stand up for what I think is right even if I am not the biggest voice,” he said. His experience as the Task Force Director of Accessibility Affairs has taught him invaluable knowledge from diverse perspectives.
To contact the Task Force Director of Accessibility Affairs email@example.com
To contact ASOSU firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo courtesy of Associated Students of Oregon State University
Story by Tay McEdwards