Saturday, May 14, 2011

A lot of progress in disability advocacy efforts

In the past couple of weeks, I have made a lot of progress toward my yearlong goal to create a space for disabled students and their allies to form a support group and raise awareness. The first week in May was Disability Awareness Week, during which I both answered questions for a screening of my film "The Asperger's Difference," and got initiated into the disability honor society Delta Alpha Pi. During both events I shared with people my efforts on campus. Then on Thursday of that week, for the first time I held a meeting with several staff and students who are interested in helping and we starting discussing logistics of moving my efforts forward, particularly when to start, and whether or not to start an independent club or an outreach effort within DAP itself. Since then I have been able to hold regular meetings with the same people to discuss these issues, meeting with the newly elected officers of DAP during the most recent one and attending a presentation about club chartering right after that.

All of these recent developments are looking to be a lot more promising than the more occasional ones that have previously taken place. The people I have met with have really demonstrated an enthusiasm to help me out with my specific goals. The new leaders of DAP have expressed an interest in actively reaching out to all disabled students regardless of their year and grades, as well as allies, in order to create the sort of space that I would like to see. Several staff have offered to sponsor my efforts. I have laid out specifically what it is I am hoping to achieve to more and more people who have been very receptive. I have a very good feeling about the way things are going and I look forward to establishing an open support group for all students with disabilities and their allies in which we can raise awareness and work on projects toward achieving it. Although its been difficult at times, perseverance seems to be paying off.

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