Disability Awareness Week promotes an open mind on campus

Every year, the Center for Student Success hosts Disability Awareness Week at California Lutheran University. This year, the 11th annual Disability Awareness Week is a joint effort between the CSS, MYLife and the Community Service Center. Disability Awareness Week is from Oct. 28-31.

The combined efforts of these programs mean more opportunities to get involved in Disability Awareness Week. senior Katie Hemming, youth and education intern for the CSC, who played a major role in planning the week’s activities, is excited to see what this year’s team can put together.

“This year, even more offices, student clubs and local community groups are involved and running their own events on campus for this year’s Disabilities Awareness Week,” Hemming said. “Joint participation from the CSS, MYLife and the CSC should make it a wonderful week.”

Disability Awareness Week includes the program Unique Abilities Creating a Community of Beauty, which will take place Oct. 28-31 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Pederson Administration building. Taking part in the week’s activities can be as simple as leaving a thumb print, according to Wendy Jimenez, accessibility research coordinator for the CSS.

“‘Unique Abilities’ is for anyone who wants to drop by the Center for Student Success (formally the CAAR office) to add his or her unique thumb print in creating a symbol,” Jimenez said. “By leaving one’s thumb print on the [symbol], it signifies his or her support for those with differing abilities and also recognizes the value of the individual in creating our community.”

3ELove, LLC., which, according to its website, is “a social entrepreneurial experiment to change the perception of disability…to provide the tools for others to embrace diversity, educate society and empower each other to love life,” will be holding a tabling event on Oct. 30 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Regals Way.

On Oct. 31, Paws 4 Healing, an animal-assisted therapy organization will take place in the Pearson Library lobby. Students can visit the library to take part in a little “pet therapy” while supporting disability awareness. Cheyann Wittmann, a junior who plans on attending Paws 4 Healing, is excited to take part in her first CLU Disability Awareness Week.

“It sounds like an awesome way to relieve some stress while supporting a great cause,” Wittmann said. “Who doesn’t love puppies? I can’t wait for pet therapy.”

Disability Awareness Week is more than about raising awareness that disabilities exist. Disability Awareness Week is about understanding what people can do to embrace disabilities, as well as understanding how those with disabilities live.

“The objective of Disability Awareness Week is to encourage awareness, learning and recognition of both the value and needs of individuals with disabilities,” Jimenez said. “Each activity throughout Disability Awareness Week promotes one or more of these objectives.”

For more information on the events, or how to get involved in Disability Awareness Week, contact the Community Service Center by email at [email protected] or by phone at (805) 493-3981.


Keith Sparks
Staff Writer
Published Oct. 30, 2013