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DISABILITY AWARENESS MONTH

By ALEXANDRA WHITE | Staff Writer

Simple entities in life are sometimes what we take for granted. We get so busy with everything going on we forget to stop and enjoy what is around us and to realize how truly lucky we are to experience our environment.

This year, Disability Services is trying to accomplish that by hosting several events within the month of April to promote disability awareness.

“The month of April at APSU has always been disability awareness month,” said Phillip Voorhees, adaptive technology coordinator for Disability Services.

The month-long tribute kicked-off on Thursday, March 31, when Disability Services re-signed their affirmation with President Tim Hall and released their theme for the month.

This year the theme is “move toward independence,” which is appropriate considering that according to the affirmation signed at the kick-off part of the statement by which Disability Services adheres to is, “To promote full inclusion of our environments,” and “encourage all students to use the power of education.”

While Disability Services has held a couple of events to celebrate the month, the big event Wednesday, April 20, which is Star Access.

“Star Access”, Voorhees said, “is a portable assistance technology lab from Star Center in West Tennessee that comes to clients across the state who cannot make it to go visit its primary location.”

The lab itself will be a rolling lab as big as a school bus will be outside in the MUC lobby from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The lab will be open to all students for tours. At the end of the tour, disability services will be there to provide T-shirts, information and drinks.

Voorhees said, “the purpose of this month is to work with those who have a disability, as well as give everyone the opportunity to be aware of those with disabilities.”

One student who benefits from disability services is junior psychology major Kierstin Vater. Vater suffers from narcolepsy.

According to Pub Med Health, narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that causes excessive sleepiness and frequent daytime sleep attacks.

Vater is registered with Disability Services, which has helped her in numerous ways.

“Disability Services has helped me by making sure that I was accommodated in every shape and form. They made sure I was eligible to receive the services. Because of this I have benefited by having a note taker, a recorder [because] I can fall asleep in class and I am even allowed priority registration,” Vater said.

“I think Disability Services is a great thing because it accommodates those in need of help, as well as helping students communicate with professors on what’s going on and what they may need. So to educate the rest of the campus population is in my eyes wonderful thing.”

In the end, Disability Services invites everyone to come out to the remaining events in April to become more aware of those around you.
For more information about Disability Services or Disability Awareness Month, contact their office at 221-6230. TAS

About Aaliyah Mitchell

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