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Teenager Inspires School to Install Elevators

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The Totten Intermediate School Twitter account tweeted this photo of “the OFFICIAL inaugural ride in our elevator!” Officials, inspired by former student John Hudson Dilgen, center, transformed the school into a 100% ADA-compliant facility.

When John Hudson Dilgen enrolled at Totten Intermediate School in Staten Island, New York, officials worked hard to make sure the youth would be able to get everything he could out of his experience on the campus. While not a problem for most students, attending a multilevel school was difficult for John Hudson because a rare disease means he must use a wheelchair to move around. The school accommodated him by adding a wheelchair ramp and moving his classes to the first floor, but the young man, now a 17-year-old graduate of the school, inspired officials to make the school 100% accessible. The work was completed earlier this month and was inaugurated with a celebration attended by school and elected officials, and John Hudson himself. As reported by silive.com, the school now has two elevators, a wheelchair ramp, new doors and knobs, and accessible restrooms and water fountains. “I am so proud to see this project come to fruition,” said John Boyle, principal of the school. “Our school is now fully ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant and Accessible to ALL! No student will ever be turned away from our school because of his/her special needs. Having John Hudson at the ribbon cutting was something I will never forget. This is one of the proudest moments of my career!”

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Elevator World | April 2021 Cover