March 1, 2016
By Tiffany Skelnik
The month of March is a busy month for the Dominican University’s Disability Support Services Office. March is Disability Awareness Month and there are many events on campus that provide more information. One of these events is Allies for Inclusion: The Ability Exhibit. The St. Louis University website describes the exhibit as “a traveling interactive display designed to develop allies for people with disabilities” and it will be brought to campus on March 21 in the Parmer Atrium and on March 22 in the Social Hall from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Disability Support Services Coordinator, Judy Paulus, commented on the event.
“This is in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the signing of the ADA,” Paulus said. “Bringing a project this large to the university is really about celebrating the 25th anniversary of the ADA. I wanted to do something special this year for Disability Awareness Month. It’s been fliers, it’s been a table, nothing to this level.”
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed on July 26, 1990 and has been instrumental in making life easier for people with disabilities in a variety of ways. Because of this act, there are curb cuts on sidewalks, ramps into buildings and students with disabilities have opportunities to further their education. This is only one of many things that participants can learn about when they attend the Ability Exhibit.
The Ability Exhibit is made up of ten interactive stations, each of which promote a different aspect that can help in becoming an ally. Participants can learn about the history of the Disability Movement and the Americans with Disabilities Act, quiz themselves, find out their “Ability IQ”, learn about person-first language and become an Ally for Inclusion. These stations are just a few of the ones the exhibit will showcase.
“I want people to understand that supporting individuals with disabilities is an institutional responsibility, not a one office responsibility,” Paulus said. “And while accommodating students with disabilities is also a legal mandate, it is more importantly an educational and moral imperative and providing equal access to individuals with disabilities to all of our curricular and co-curricular activities is paramount to creating a more just and humane society.”
The exhibit is not the only event taking place in March. On Thursday, March 17, there will be an awareness table in the Lewis Alcove where more information will be provided about the exhibit and disability awareness.