(Photo courtesy of Ed Yourdon under Creative Commons license)
(Photo courtesy of Ed Yourdon under Creative Commons license)

BY DEANDRE MCDAY, Staff Writer

UM-Dearborn’s Alliance for Disability Awareness (ADA) dubbed this passing week “DisAbility Awareness Week”, an entire week dedicated to promoting educational and social inclusion of those with disabilities.

The disabled account for nearly 10% of the American population, making it one of the largest minority groups in the nation. Yet, despite the overwhelming number of Americans experiencing some form of disability, they are often the least represented.

In a country seemingly obsessed with speed, the disabled are very easily left behind as accommodations for them are seldom thought of when new projects or innovations are brought to light.

The word “disabled” very often has a negative connotation, implying that such a person is incapable of doing something deemed “normal” by “able-bodied” citizens.

When one fails to meet a certain criteria after being born, or comes to fall beneath a certain “standard” as they mature—in a nation that seems to pride itself on the idea of “pulling oneself up by their own bootstraps”—it becomes very easy to be overlooked or forgotten.

UM-D’s ADA aimed to stand as a beacon of hope against such circumstances. Their efforts included the screening of a film about the life of an elementary school student’s battle with Down’s Syndrome and his battle with inclusion, a balloon-popping fundraiser, a panel discussion with local advocates of the disabled community, and another discussion about destructive, derogatory slang geared toward disabled individuals.

The Alliance for Disability Awareness is dedicated to providing educational and social opportunities relating to the interest of students with disabilities, and promoting awareness within the community.

More information about the organization can be found on their website.