In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Allies for Inclusion: The Ability Exhibit, will be presented on SLU's Medical Center Campus from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 8, in the multipurpose room of the Allied Heath Building.
It also will be presented from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday, March 9, at the Logan College of Chiropractic Purser Center in Chesterfield, Mo. This interactive exhibit, which debuted on SLU's Frost campus in October 2010, is open to the public and free of charge.
The purpose of the exhibit is to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities through respect for others, comfort during interactions and awareness of disability issues. Using a multi-media approach to demonstrate respect, comfort and awareness, the exhibit offers suggestions for becoming disability allies and educators.
The Ability Exhibit was created by SLU graduate students in the Disability in Higher Education and Society course under the direction of Karen Myers, Ph.D.
"I was so inspired by [graduate student] Anne Marie Carroll's initiative that I formed a team of students to take her idea to the next level," Myers said.
It is sponsored by the Saint Louis University Leadership and Higher Education Department and the Division of Student Development with generous donations from the Division of Information Technology Services and Logan College of Chiropractic.
Elements of the exhibit include banners displaying disability historical facts and statistics, foam board posters depicting the disability movement, celebrities with disabilities and person-first language; interactive activities such as Ability IQ computer quizzes, the communication space rope, and "Who do you know with a disability? exercises; videos and slides about people with disabilities, disability law and Universal Instructional Design; and tips for becoming an Ally for Inclusion. Plans to display the exhibit on other campuses are underway.
It has been 20 years since the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and almost 40 years since the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Both of these laws protect against discrimination of people with disabilities by requiring equal access to employment, education, goods and services. Americans have progressed in their attitudes and behaviors toward people with disabilities; however, there remain questions and concerns about appropriate communication, comfort level and inclusive practices.
When it comes to interacting with individuals with disabilities, people ask:
- What should I do?
- How should I respond?
- Is it okay to say that?
- How can I become an ally?
Allies for Inclusion: The Ability Exhibit will attempt to answer some of these questions.
The Ability Exhibit will be displayed at the ACPA College Student Educators International convention in Baltimore, MD on March 28 and 29, hosted by the association and the Standing Committee on Disability.
For more information about Allies for Inclusion: The Ability Exhibit, please visit us on Facebook or contact Dr. Karen Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org .