As I wrote in my last post Road Trip (Continued), we finally arrived to Prescott, Arizona. We had checked into a hotel for the week, and were now in the process of getting everything put in order for Jeffrey to start college.
The next morning, Embry-Riddle’s (ERAU) disability director came dropping by our hotel room. He had kindly offered to guide us first to the Social Security office to fill out the paperwork there, and then took us by the local DMV so that we could get Jeffrey’s new ID card prior to getting back to our hotel room in time to meet with our DDD contacts and get Jeffrey signed up for disability payments. What an awesome sweet man he was!
But then all of a sudden we noticed that Jeffrey’s power chair was not staying charged. We had just charged it up last night! I could totally picture Jeffrey on a long pathway at ERAU heading to one of his classes and all of a sudden his chair stops running and he’s stuck.
Yet again the sweet disability director took care if us as he drove us to a wheelchair repair shop which he recommended highly. They were closed, but still at least we knew now where they were located!
We made it back to our hotel room in time to meet with DDD. The meeting went great, and they perceived no problems in getting Jeffrey approved for payments. Yay!
Next we headed back to ERAU to take another look at Jeffrey’s dorm room prior to us starting to unpack his stuff the next day. But a huge roadblock came slamming into our face: He couldn’t get in the outer doors to the building! The students needed to swipe a special ID card before the outer doors would unlock to let them in the foyer where the inner doors were located. We told the housing director that there was no way Jeffrey could do that, but her reply was: “Well, we’ll just need to move him to another dorm.”
Ah … no, that was not going to happen – this was the perfect dorm for him. I was starting to stress. Yet it was late in the day by that time, so we went back to our hotel.
The next morning we were called to a meeting at the college with our disability director friend, the housing director, and the dean of students. We again went to the dorm and showed them the issue.
Immediately the dean turned to the housing director and told her to put in an emergency work order to install automatic door openers on the outer doors to the foyer set on a timer. We were all thinking that if Jeffrey got in the outer doors, he would have plenty of time to work on using his key card on the inner doors without having to be stuck outside. Plus, if worse came to worse, he could wait for someone else to come in and help.
We were thankful, and really believed that Jeffrey would be able to learn how to use the key card that was needed for the inner doors.
The next day we were able to start getting Jeffrey moved into his dorm room. This was to be his first night staying there! There were 2 other boys sharing the other room in the dorm, and we met them and both their parents. They were all very kind, offering to help however they could.
But then another problem arose.
The nursing caregivers who were to come to the university to assist Jeffrey in the mornings and evenings needed to have their own individual parking passes and keys to the campus and dorm, and ERAU stated they would only supply the facility one of each to the company as a whole – they could not allow a bunch of different caregivers to have their own keys because of security issues.
Didn’t think through that whole issue very well, did we?
However the housing director told them the caregiver scheduled for the shift that day could drop by the campus security office to pick up and drop off the key/pass after their shift. Thankfully they were okay with that.
That evening we waited in Jeffrey’s dorm for the first caregiver to show up. The gal seemed very nice and competent, so we explained a few things about Jeffrey and his needs, and then took off to our hotel room.
But the next day our world started to unravel once again…