Awareness event singles out disability services


provided by Have a Heart, Lend a Hand

Kelly Wynne, Features Editor

As professor David Allen’s human services class listened to their blind classmate explain his disability, they knew they had pinpointed the perfect advocacy project. After multiple topics and debates, the class came to an agreement on exploring College of DuPage’s very own Center for Access and Accommodations.

There are a total of 1,734 students registered with special needs on campus, but it is estimated there may be double the amount not registered. The class has taken this semester to focus on bringing awareness to both students qualified to register those not.

Terry Hill, both a library reference assistant and COD student, explained that her disabled classmate had described having trouble finding his way to classes. He spoke of little assistance offered to him, and the difficulty he found in before and after school transportation. Through exploration, he discovered the Center for Access and Accommodations, and their need for volunteers.

Hill spoke of the drive to give students motivation to seek out the center’s resources. When Jackie Reuland, manager of the center, visited the class, she spoke of the students who do not use the resources. Reuland explained that a student must be an advocate for him or herself.

After Reuland’s talk, the class decided to make their advocacy project and “awareness project.” The project is designed to give COD students background on the center and explain resources available. Volunteer positions will also be advertised, as one of the biggest problems the center finds is a lack in volunteers.

Hill and classmates hope the project will be able to give students the confidence to speak up and ask for help when needed, as well as inspire them to lend a hand.

The final project will include a table in the heart of campus. Students can stop by the table from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on April 28 near Starbucks in the Student Services Center. Popcorn and baked goods will be provided. For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page.