Erick Lemus/Courier - The women's restroom in the C building on October 10, 2016 on the PCC campus with a braille translation that says 240. The bathroom still does not indicate the gender of the bathroom in braille.
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Months have passed since PCC’s lack of correct braille signage was brought to light to administration, yet no progress has been made to aid visually impaired students in their endeavors around campus.

From misinformation to vandalism, visually impaired students are still being forced to encounter signage issues that has plagued the campus, specifically the C Building, for years.      

Students Unlimited, a club on campus that aims to increase disability awareness, has been struggling to get these issues resolved since this past spring semester.

Philbert Tjong, the Vice President of Students Unlimited, is one of the individuals taking this issue head on.

“The bathrooms, they actually, in braille, just had a number on them,” Tjong said. “Something like 222, but 222 doesn’t tell me what gender it is, let alone if it’s a restroom.”

Because of signs such as these, Tjong and other visually impaired students must go through the painstaking process of first deducing that they are indeed in front of a restroom, and then determining if it is for male or female use, information that should be clearly stated in braille in the first place.

Vandalism inflicted upon braille signs throughout campus is also a roadblock that visually impaired students face on a daily basis.

“Even one of my own classrooms, room 351 in the C Building, it has braille there, but it’s clearly been scratched off,” said Tjong.

Though no tangible progress has been made concerning the braille signs around campus, plans are being made for the future to increase accessibility for PCC’s impaired students by Students Unlimited.

“One of the things we’d like to do is look into the possibility of having a shared governance…that would be affiliated with the facilities master planning committee,” Mark Sakata, co-advisor of Students Unlimited said.

The result would be a group of students, staff, and administrators all working to make PCC’s campus more accessible.

The lack of progress on this project can most likely be attributed to the vacant Associate Dean of Student Services position, which Dr. Ketlani Kouanchao recently filled in July of this year.

Kouanchao is now embracing her role in making sure the campus is accessible to all of PCC’s students.

“We want to make sure students have the accessibility that they need, to be part of the educational system and the process,” said Kouanchao. “I want to make sure we adhere to the different policies and procedures.”

With this position of power now filled, PCC’s visually impaired students hope to get the correct braille signage that they need.

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