See the person, not the disability

See the person, not the disability

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UI plans activities during National Disability Awareness Month

The slogan on the maroon-colored T-shirts says it all.

Carly Armour sits at her desk, wearing a "See the PERSON, NOT the disability" t-shirt
Carly Armour sports the T-shirt that is part of the UI Disability T-Shirt Campaign. T-shirt design by Old Capitol Screen Printers.

"See the PERSON, NOT the disability" is the theme of the University of Iowa Disability Awareness T-shirt Campaign, spearheaded by Carly Armour, co-chair of the UI Council on Disability Awareness (CDA) and disability advisor at UI Student Disability Services.

This is one of several initiatives and activities planned as part of October, National Disability Awareness Month.

"This month allows opportunities to turn the focus to individuals' strengths and abilities that are sometimes shadowed by others' perceptions," says Teresa Kout, co-chair of the UI's CDA and participant services coordinator in Study Abroad in UI International Programs. "Whether visible or invisible, challenges that are labeled 'disabilities' should not define the person."

Kout adds that one of the benefits of increasing awareness is exponentially building understanding among people.

"Whether visible or invisible, challenges that are labeled 'disabilities' should not define the person."
—Teresa Kout, co-chair of the UI Council on Disability Awareness

Following are several activities planned during the month designed to both increase awareness and build understanding.

The Iowa Regents Institutions 2013 Disability Awareness Summit and UI Disability Celebration will be held Thursday, Oct. 17. Though registration for the summit is closed, the UI Disability Celebration will be from 4 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, in Room 2520 of the University Capitol Centre and is free and open to the public.

UI President Sally Mason will present this year’s Above and Beyond and Braverman Scholarship Awards. There will also be a presentation on the installment of hearing loops on the UI campus. The UI Chief Diversity Office is sponsoring the event, and the following entities are organizing the summit and celebration: staff from the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity in the Chief Diversity Office, Student Disability Services, Faculty and Staff Disability Services, ITS, and UI Facilities Management. See a related story.

The October UI Diversity Councils Lunch and Learn will be held from 11:30 to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31, in Room 2390 in the University Capitol Centre with the CDA hosting speaker Mike Hoenig this month. The event is a brown bag lunch and is free and open to the public. No pre-registration is required. This is part of the monthly UI Diversity Lunch and Learn series.

Hoenig, program coordinator with the University of Iowa Center for Disabilities and Development in UI Children's Hospital, will share his experience of growing up with blindness as well as the work he does coordinating trainings for multiple audiences on a variety of topics. These include self-advocacy, disability etiquette, mental illness awareness, and organizational development.

During every Friday in October, people may see others on campus wearing maroon T-shirts with the quote “See the PERSON not the Disability” in honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Those who are interested in purchasing a T-shirt, can contact Armour at carly-armour@uiowa.edu. Orders will be taken until Oct. 28th.

The CDA Iowa Hawkeye Access Pride Recognition Program invites people to submit names of faculty, staff, or students who they would like to recognize for their efforts in making the campus a friendlier environment for individuals with disabilities. CDA members will list the names as part of the CDA Iowa Hawkeye Access Pride Recognition Program.

If you would like to recognize someone for their efforts, big or small, email cda@uiowa.edu the following: Name of person being nominated; campus address and email address; and a brief description of that person's efforts. This is a year-round program with more information here.

Facilities Accessibility Progress. Those who are curious about facilities accessibility updates on campus can check out the CDA’s Facilities Accessibility Progress on its website. People are especially invited to view the “Before” and “After” photos and share with them with colleagues and friends.

Ongoing opportunities year-round

New members are also always sought to join the CDA. If you are a faculty or staff member passionate about promoting disability awareness on campus and would like to join the CDA, contact co-chairs Armour or Kout at carly-armour@uiowa.edu or teresa-kout@uiowa.edu.

UI students who are interested in working with or meeting other students who care about disability awareness on campus are invited to join the Student Disability Org (SDO). All students are welcome. SDO’s first big event will be a fundraiser for Autism Speaks. For more information on SDO, contact Cori Rhode, SDO president and UI Student Government senator representing students with disabilities, at corinne-rhode@uiowa.edu. Find SDO on Facebook by searching for "Student Disability Org (SDO) of the Univ. of Iowa."

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events.

If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to attend the UI Disability Celebration Oct. 17, contact the UI Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity in the Chief Diversity Office in advance at 319-335-0705, 319-335-0697 (TDD), or at diversity@uiowa.edu.

If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to attend the Diversity Lunch and Learn Oct. 31, contact Armour at carly-armour@uiowa.edu or Jefri Palermo at jefri-palermo@uiowa.edu.

Contacts

Carly Armour, UI Student Disability Services
Teresa Kout, Study Abroad in UI International Programs, teresa-kout@uiowa.edu
Kathy Ford, UI School of Music and UI Council on Disability Awareness public relations coordinator, 319-335-1602

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