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December 11, 2015

Ron Lehr: Paving the Way

Movin' On Feature Story
Back to Work Series

’74 Grad Helped to Make His Workplace Accessible

“It was a different time then,” Ron says.

Before the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, many like Ron Lehr faced discrimination when trying to get hired. Ron, a Craig ’74 grad, has been living with paraplegia for more than four decades. A passionate and persistent man, Ron faced an uphill battle when trying to get hired after his injury.

He says Craig provided him the tools to get to where he is now.

Ron went back to school after his accident and earned two associate’s degrees in architectural design and mechanical drafting, and eventually he earned a bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University.

After a brief stint with Hewlett-Packard, Ron returned to his alma mater as an employee. Ron was hired as an architectural drafter for Facilities Management at Colorado State University. He helped the department move to digital software.

“I found that they were doing all of their work on paper and even napkins. I had been working with AutoCAD for about 15 years already, so I started putting stuff together that is still a standard here.”

Ron also helped to make the campus more accessible.

“When I was first here, there were classes that I couldn’t get into because they had no accessibility. Now I would say that 95 percent of this campus is accessible, whereas when I was here, only about 60 percent was accessible,” says Ron.

Ron helped create accessible parking and design ramps and building entrances that are still in use today.

Ron is currently entering his 10th year at the Fort Collins campus and plans on retiring in the next year or two. Throughout his life, Ron has worked relentlessly to overcome all barriers that have been presented.


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