Spreading Awareness For Disabilities On Campus

By Julia Gordon

Staff Writer

Lynn University’s ADA Coordinator, Matthew Roche, is working with students, faculty and staff to form a Disability Awareness Committee (DAC).

The DAC is comprised of members or supporters of the disability community. The purpose of the committee is to create events and programs, along with spreading awareness about disabilities of all kinds.

DAC will oversee an extension of programming beyond wheelchair basketball. This includes programming such as future Dining with Disabilities dinners and guest speakers, as well as community outreach and awareness tabling.

“I am hoping that the Disability Awareness Committee can serve as an extension of the [ADA] office to broaden the scope of services that we are able to provide,” said Roche. “We can do awareness training and programming, things that on my own I am not able to do right now.”

The Lynn community is comprised of unique individuals all with their own challenges. 22 percent of Lynn’s student population has a registered disability, which does not include students who have not formally registered for services. This is approximately twice as much as the average university.

A short-term goal of DAC is to launch a more comprehensive discrimination training for staff and students that highlights how to work with different types of populations; and how to interact with them and really make them feel included in a community according to Roche.

Due to this staggering statistic, Roche thinks that it is increasingly imperative that students with disabilities have more of a voice on campus as well as equal opportunities.

The committee launched with its Spread the Word to End the Word campaign which received 126 pledges. The campaign was well received on campus with many participants saying that it was needed on campus.

Clearly, DAC is an outlet for Lynn community members to interact with each other and become more aware of the differences that unite us.

To get involved with the Disability Awareness Committee, contact Matt Roche and look for signs on campus for future meetings to attend. Matt Roche can be reached at MRoche@lynn.edu.

Julia Gordon

Julia Gordon is a digital art and design major from Columbus, Ohio. In addition to her communications pursuits, she also studies gemology through the Gemological Institute of America. Gordon loves reading and has a passion for photography.

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