Graphic: The Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement

Michael Pachovas

Audio transcript: On working with the coordinating committee for the Removal of Architectural Barriers to make the UC Berkeley campus accessible
Date: July 7, 1998
Interviewer: Mary Lou Breslin

Note: Transcripts have been lightly edited; therefore there may be slight discrepancies with audio clips.

I was participating while I was a student on putting together a whole plan to make the campus—the entire campus—accessible. So they were paying me to walk around with an architect, telling him which paths were and which paths weren't adequate. Which ones had too much cross slope. It was gut intuition at the time and not so much a measured science. What improvements needed to happen, what buildings needed to have access, all that kind of stuff. And it was wonderful. I got paid eight dollars an hour to go wander around campus during the spring. We did a survey of all the buildings and all the facilities. Then they started working out a whole plan to make them accessible.

And what was the committee that was organizing that?

It was called the CCRAB committee, the Coordinating Committee for the Removal of Architectural Barriers. So we decided rather than banging heads—I guess the university decided more than we did—you know, rather than bang heads with them, that they should try to like pull us into the fold a bit and work together. That was very successful.

And that was a voluntary thing on the part of the university?

Yes, it was. It was a collaboration between the Disabled Students' Union and the Disabled Students' Program and some of the architects and planners on campus.

And was that productive in terms of generating more access?

Incredibly so, yes. I mean, we had the whole campus pretty much accessible in about five years from being maybe 10 percent accessible.

And how did that compare to other places that you knew about around the area, other campuses?

It happened much faster. You know, after that there were laws that were passed that required that kind of work being done. Prior to '78 it wasn't happening.

End of transcript

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