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Disability Services planning events to change perceptions


By Adria Nassim





Many people think only of those who use wheelchairs or have visible disabilities. During March 22-23 and today, the Office of Disability Services for Students has been out to change that perception.

“We want people to know that disabilities are about more than just people in wheelchairs,” Director of DSS Martha Jacques Engstrom said.

DSS started with a disability awareness fair March 22 in the lobby of Herman B Wells Library. The event was interactive and featured displays, student art and writings, adaptive technology demos and more.

Local businesses also attended. New to the fair this year was a student panel discussion on University accessibility in the Indiana Memorial Union. Students talked about their experiences attending IU with a disability both academically and socially and discussed the improvements IU has made in relation to accessibility as well as ways the campus can continue to improve.

To cap things off, the Office of Career Development and DSS will sponsor a career development workshop today, featuring two IU alumni with disabilities who shared tips and tactics useful for the job search as well as preparing for a job interview.

Engstrom said these events “help students (with disabilities) feel less isolated and alone when they see that there are others at IU. The events also serve as positive role models. This is also an opportunity for students with disabilities to demonstrate to others on campus that they are much more like them than they are different.”

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