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Texas State Celebrates National Disability Awareness Month

todayOctober 22, 2015 6

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By. Marques Mingo
News Reporter

disability awareness monthOctober is National Disability Awareness Month, and the Office of Students with Disabilities is ready to educate others about disABILITIES.

For the second year in a row, Texas State’s Office of Students with Disabilities is hosting events throughout October to celebrate National Disability Awareness Month.

ODS’s goal is to provide accommodations that level the playing field for students who have a visual or non-visual disability. Disabilities can include, ADHD, Aids, speech impediments, Crohn’s disease and many others. This month, they will host a variety of events to help bring awareness about the misconceptions faculty, staff, and students may have about people with disabilities. Some of the biggest misconceptions about disabled people comes from the person believing what they cannot see.

“The most common one is, if I don’t see it doesn’t exist,” said Tabitha Williams, ODS Outreach and Retention Coordinator. “So why do you have a handicap accessible parking placard hanging in your mirror when I don’t see you physically having a disability. So making sure we bring that awareness that just because you don’t see it physically or visually, doesn’t mean the person does not have a disability.”

This year’s National theme is My Disability is one part of who I am and ODS is already living up to this year’s theme starting with their flyer that lists this month’s events.

In the title that says “Disability Awareness Month, the dis is lowercased and in a separate color while the word ability is in another color in all caps. This look comes from ODS always trying to remind people that the person has a disability not the disability has a person.

“We highlight that ability within the individual and not focus on the disability because it is apart of their identity, it’s not what makes the individuals themselves,” Williams said.

Williams says it’s always best to ask a person about their disability or else you will remain unaware and make judgements about them. She says though you have to come with the right attitude, or the disabled person may be insulted.

“Make sure that the presentation of what it is that you’re trying to ask is coming across as genuine and authentic,” Williams said. “And that individual will see that, that individual will know this person is trying to know me, this person is actually trying to know me and understand who I am as a person and my lived experiences.”

ODS’s will host four more events throughout the rest of the month, and for a full list of the events, visit their website.

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