DRC hosts Disability PRIDE Fair

Today, Oct 30, the Disability Resource Center will be hosting an event to celebrate academic hurdles that can be overcome with the availability of new technology.  From noon to 2 p.m., join the Disability Resource Center, Faculty Commons, DO-IT and Student Programs in D-106 for the Disability Pride Fair to kick off National Disability and Employment Month.

According to the US Census, 56 million people in the United States have a disability, accounting for one-fifth of the population. This is a large “minority” population that has been traditionally overlooked, disenfranchised and experienced discrimination by way of employment or underemployment. At BC, the DRC works on “a case by case basis to determine those individual accommodation for each student made eligible through our program based on their specific disabilities,” said Susan Gjolmesli, the director of the Disability Resource Center.

The PRIDE Fair will feature hands-on instructional services with state-of-the-art assistive technology. The event is being hosted to display devices and software designed to assist those with vision, reading, or hearing limitations that restrict their use of keyboards, mice and other input devices.

The DRC staff will describe how they plan to apply the new technology when creating tests and coursework. The staff will be making presentations to demonstrate the utilization of tools that will help students succeed.

The DRC is dedicated to serving provisions of comprehensive and flexible accommodation plans to contribute to successful academic endeavors of students who have disabilities.

Many assistive and adaptive technologies have been present in classrooms and computer labs of BC. The quick-advancing educational environment is becoming increasingly dependent on the use of technology.  “It’s always interesting and fun to learn about other cultures and affinity groups! And assistive technology is very interesting and worth investigation,” said Gjolmesli, encouraging students and faculty to attend the PRIDE Fair.

Devices such as the Braille Embosser printing device and the Kurzweil 3000, which combines scanning, text-to-speech, and  reading, and writing utilities have been used at BC.  The DRC is hosting the Disability PRIDE Fair to display their passion to research, tests, and the implementation of new technologies that will adhere to the needs of individual students and the campus at large.

The DRC is determined to lift students to their full potential. With approximately 900 students in the program, the DRC accounts for an significant part of the student body.

“We are fine the way we are—with our crutches and our wheelchairs, our adaptive and our broken speech, our run on thought, our slow processing and our mood swings, our sign language and need for captioning. We are part of diversity and we contribute to a rich tapestry of the human condition known as society itself. Disability pride is exactly that—being proud of our culture…the sociology of disability,” said Gjomesli on behalf of disabled students at BC.

For more information regarding accomodations available from the DRC, vusut the webpage at http://bellevuecollege.edu/drc/getting_started.html