For many people, understanding and even talking about disabilities can be difficult.
“I think they don’t want to offend others by talking about it, but it doesn’t have to be this thing that makes people different,” says Alyse Brewer ’17.
Brewer, who has cerebral palsy, says that many people don’t know how to react to those with a disability, or how to talk about disabilities. “It can be uncomfortable because some people don’t know the language to use. But I want people to talk about disabilities in a way that is positive,” she says.
Brewer is one of many students aiming to help get the conversation going on the Ursinus College campus. Ursinus’s Center for Academic Support and Disability Services is sponsoring “How Do UC Disability?” during Oct. 3-6. The series of events is designed to raise disability awareness.
“The goal is to open up a dialogue about disability on campus, generate a broader understanding of the different challenges people with disabilities face, and create a culture of inclusion,” says Shammah Bermudez, director of disability services at Ursinus.
Brewer, who helped to organize the event, says, “We focus a lot on diversity and inclusion on campus at Ursinus and people with disabilities are part of that. It greatly impacts my life, and through this program, I wanted to help give a voice to those students.”
The event is being co-sponsored by the Office of Career and Professional Development, Ursinus College Ambassadors, Student Activities, and the Berman Museum of Art.
Monday, Oct. 3, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Bakes Fieldhouse: Adaptive Sports Night, including “sit-volleyball” and “beeper kickball.”
Tuesday, Oct. 4, Noon to 1 p.m., Olin 107: “The Neurodiversity Movement: Differences not Dysfunction in Disability,” a talk by Jennifer Stevenson, assistant professor of psychology.
Wednesday, Oct. 5, 7 to 8 p.m., Olin 104: “Voices of Disability” student panel.
Thursday, Oct. 6, Noon to 1 p.m., Bears’ Den: “Diversity in the Workplace: From Interview Strategies to Accommodations,” a presentation by Suzanne Kelso, senior partner for human resources and professional development at SEI, and Linda Horton, business services representative at the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation.
Thursday, Oct. 6. 7 p.m., Olin Auditorium: Movie Night — “The Temple Grandin Story.”
Additionally, a special art exhibition featuring the work of artists with disabilities will be on display in the Myrin Library from Oct. 3-17. The art is being donated by Bryn Mawr Hospital. –by Ed Moorhouse