Ability Awareness Week

The Prairie.

The Prairie.

Rebekah St. Clair

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Ability Week educated some students on how difficult it can be to have a disability.

“People haven’t realized how to deal with it [hearing disabilities] until they have to lip read,” Morgan Grazier, a senior General Business major said as she worked the hearing booth.

Students were introduced to visual, hearing and learning disabilities by going to different booths that simulated the disabilities. Lisa Sharp and Tanya Washington, counselors for the Division of Blind Services, ran the visual booth. They brought goggles that imitated complete blindness, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts. The students were lead by others and put puzzles together in order to show them how to interact with people with a visual impairment.

Tiffany Benson, a freshman Special Education major, went to the booths with her class and started her learning experience with the learning disability booth.

“[I] didn’t realize how difficult it would be,” said Benson after she finished her first activity looking at the dyslexia and learning comprehension exercises.

Tana Gunter, instructor of Education, took her class to Ability Week. She said her IDS class focused on Education majors and due to inclusion in the classroom, most of the students will have to work with students who have disabilities. She heard of Ability Week through flyers and emails.

“This is one I bring my students to every time,” said Gunter as she watched her students attempt to do all of the tasks. “To actually participate is very helpful to students because people don’t really know about how difficult tasks are that are common to a student without disabilities until people experience the disability.”

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