The Office of Accessibility is hosting Disabilities Awareness Week from Oct. 29 to Nov. 2 at The University of Akron to increase awareness of disabilities and related services on campus.
Tess Miller, a disability specialist and service coordinator for the Office of Accessibility, said the events throughout the week were planned with hopes of reaching out to members of the campus community.
“The week provides the opportunity for members of the University community to engage with The Office of Accessibility… as well as develop working relationships among the various University departments,” Miller said.
In order for the events throughout the week to happen, the Office of Accessibility begins planning a year in advance. Miller said students are also welcome to share ideas for future events.
According to Zipmail, several events will be taking place throughout the week where students and faculty members can learn more about disabilities and the Office of Accessibility.
On Monday, Oct. 29, the week of events will begin with a Photo Booth in the Student Union Piano Lounge from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. where people are encouraged to take a picture and share it on social media.
Then on Tuesday, Oct. 30, comedian Samuel J. Comroe will be performing his routine at 9:09 p.m. in the E.J. Thomas Performance Arts Hall. This event is free, open to the public and does not require prior registration.
According to his website, Comroe is a stand-up comedian who has performed at more than 100 clubs and colleges with comedy comprised from “the trials and tribulations of living with Tourettes Syndrome…” and other life experiences.
For Wednesday, Oct. 31, the Office of Accessibility will be hosting “Let’s Talk About Disabilities… There’s Nothing Spooky About It” outside the front entrance of Simmons Hall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Participants will have the opportunity to “pull a fact” about disabilities and then “pick a pumpkin to decorate,” according to Zipmail.
Then on Thursday, Nov. 1, is “Grow Acceptance” where people can share their meaning of acceptance “by adding to the Office of Accessibility acceptance tree,” according to Zipmail.
This event will take place in the Student Trapezoid Lounge from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Participants will get a free succulent as a reminder to continue acceptance and awareness.
To end the week, the WagTime Therapy Dogs will be in the Bierce Library Lobby on Friday, Nov. 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Although the Office of Accessibility is excited for all the events taking place, Miller said she is most looking forward to “Grow Acceptance” because the topic is important to the office.
“I am looking forward to providing event participants with a grow acceptance reminder succulent,” Miller said. “Growing acceptance is a priority of the Office of Accessibility, so I am happy to have the opportunity to generate disability awareness and acceptance among the University community.”
For those who are unable to attend events, Miller said it is important to know what services the Office of Accessibility offers and to be comfortable talking about the services with others who may need them.
“Our events give us the opportunity to increase disability awareness and acceptance in general,” Miller said, “so for those who cannot participate… I encourage them to take advantage of opportunities to learn more about disabilities and the abundance of resources available, outside of these events.”
Students can contact the Office of Accessibility by email at [email protected] or by phone at 330-972-7928 for more information about the services offered or to volunteer for future Disabilities Awareness weeks.