Students will have the opportunity to learn about disabilities and on-campus resources through Disability Awareness Week starting Monday, April 25.The Associated Students Disability Outreach Center will be hosting a variety of events including performances, free food and a panel of professionals.A kick off event on Monday, April 25 will be set up in Red Square at 12 p.m. with interactive activities, free food and information about Disability Awareness Week.Out of the Ashes, a performance group from Bow, Washington, will have an interactive musical performance at 12 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26 in the Viking Union Multi-Purpose Room.
A professional panel will be held in Academic West room 210 at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 28, with four panelists encouraging students with disabilities to not limit themselves when picking a career and major. Panelists will discuss their experiences in the workplace, school and with assistant technology.
"If you were to go out to Red Square and ask 100 people what they knew about the history of disability rights, you would be shocked by how many people have no idea it was a movement that even happened."
Annika Fleming, AS Disability Outreach Center coordinator
Daman Wandke, who started the AS Disability Outreach Center, will be on the panel.Exploring the Disabilities Rights Movement will be the final event at 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 3, in the Viking Union room 462b. A self-guided museum will be setup, and a documentary will be playing.Annika Fleming, the AS Disability Outreach Center coordinator, encourages people to learn about the disability rights movement.“If you were to go out to Red Square and ask 100 people what they knew about the history of disability rights, you would be shocked by how many people have no idea it was a movement that even happened,” Fleming said.Junior Madeline Henry, senior Faith Mayberry and freshman Kaylee Martig are on the Student Disability Advocacy Committee. They meet with Fleming bi-weekly and discuss accessibility issues around campus.Henry will be going to every event. She said making people aware of disabilities is one thing, but accepting people with disabilities as people, as well and not wanting to change them, comes after that.“It’s not like disabled people aren’t accepted here, but [they're a] minority group that isn’t as well known as other minority groups,” Henry said.Mayberry said she is excited for the kick-off event because there are many students that walk through Red Square that will become aware of resources on campus.“It allows students to learn more about disabilities, as well as learn how they can support their friends that may have disabilities,” Mayberry said. Martig said she is particularly interested in the professional panel because there are many different groups involved with disabilities coming together for Disability Awareness Week.Martig said there are many different types of disabilities, including “invisible” disabilities, that affect people in different ways.“It’s just important for people to become more aware of disability and not be looking at it from one angle,” Martig said.For more information on these events, visit the Western AS Disability Outreach Center Facebook page.