Students from Professor Considine’s Honors Social Justice course partner with SWSRA to better understand individuals with disabilitie
But what began as a compulsory activity for their final project soon transformed into a project of passion that became very near to the students’ hearts:
“It was less about the bowling and more about the relationships we formed,” said student Brooke Richmond.
The purpose of the project was to develop a level of understanding and empathy for people with disabilities. It included going bowling with a group of people with various disabilities.
The Honors social justice class, led by Dr. Kevin Considine, decided to tackle this issue by participating in a direct service project with the South West Special Recreation Association (SWSRA).
“Our purpose was to create a bond of equality to show how much these people were valued in our society despite their disabilities,” Richmond said.
The class implores others to learn from their experiences, explaining that the best way to overcome the entrenched stigmas around disabilities is to first look at our own actions so we can act by example.
They explain that even things we commonly take for granted, like the language we use in our day to day life, can work to empower or oppress people with disabilities.
About three million Americans live with some sort of learning disability.
The disabilities tend to come part and parcel with a prejudice that can be more debilitating than the disability itself.
The stereotype that people with special needs have less to contribute to our society is a long engrained attitude that unfortunately still prevails today.
Following this it becomes clear that a little thought goes a long way towards equality and making a big difference isn’t something that takes a huge sacrifice.
Fellow student Nick Drews said, “Ultimately a disability doesn’t make anyone less of a person, everyone has their own personality and should be seen to have a special contribution to society.”
The event was a great success and everyone involved had a wonderful time and formed some special friendships. The class agreed that it was heartening to see the extent that treating someone with a disability as a friend improved their morale.
If you want to volunteer some time to hang out with some great people, who are guaranteed to teach you more about life than you can imagine and give a service that SWSRA are in desperate need of, there are many opportunities to get involved in evening activities or day camps for people with disabilities. If you are interested to learn more you can contact SWSRA directly at (708) 389 9423 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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