Today marks the first day of Temple Student Government’s inaugural Disability Awareness Week. The three-day initiative strives to celebrate those who have disabilities and combat stigmas surrounding disabilities, said Shawn Aleong, TSG’s deputy director of campus safety.
“Why we hold disability week is because it’s important that we recognize people’s different disabilities,” said Aleong, a sophomore legal studies major. “We have to break down that stigma that society has put on me and you, ‘cause society has one lens of looking at disabilities.”
Here are the events happening this week:
Monday, March 9
Opening Ceremony Brunch, Student Center, 12-2 p.m.
The week’s first event will recognize campus organizations that work with students who have disabilities, Aleong said. Campus organizations attending the brunch include SHOUT, Disability Resource Services, Athletes Helping Athletes of Temple University, the Rec 4 Life Therapeutic Recreation Association of Temple University, the Alpha Xi Delta sorority and the Delta Alpha Pi honor society.
The brunch is specifically intended for members of these organizations, said Jess Torres, TSG’s Director of Communications.
Disability Law Discussion, Charles Library Room 102, 6-8 p.m.
Peri-Jude-Radecic, a lawyer at Disability Rights Pennsylvania, will talk to students about the rights of people with disabilities, the American Disability Act and the history of laws regarding disabilities, Aleong said. Aleong will moderate the event.
Tuesday, March 10
The Truth About Pennhurst Asylum, 7th floor of Alter Hall, 6-8 p.m.
On Tuesday, Aleong will host a discussion on Pennhurst State School and Hospital, a facility many people with disabilities were forced to live in during its operation from 1908 to 1987, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Students will discuss “the controversy surrounding their background with working with people with disabilities,” Torres said.
Wednesday, March 11
Speakers Series, Mitten Hall, 5-7 p.m.
Charles Horton, the former executive director of the Mayor’s Commission on People with Disabilities, and Imani Barbarin, a disability advocate at Disability Rights Pennsylvania, will discuss what it is like to be African-American and have a disability, Aleong said.