Cal State Fullerton’s Disability Support Services (DSS) and Abled Advocators present the second annual Disability Awareness Day Wednesday, Oct. 12, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of the Humanities-Social Sciences Building.
Activities will include a student talent show, performances by the Walk and Roll Dance Team (wheelchair dance team) and Dream Achievers Band (musicians with autism), plus guest speakers, history of disabilities exhibit, expression wall, photo booth, face painting, food, resource fair and opportunity drawing.
“This event is here to educate students and other individuals who want to learn more about specific disabilities or become advocates for those who have disabilities,” said Darlene Serrano, DSS administrative assistant.
Co-sponsored by Associated Students Inc., Workability IV and Student Wellness, the event coincides with National Disability Employment Awareness Month. According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau report, nearly one in five people in the United States has a disability.
“In my experience, people may try to avoid those with disabilities because they don’t want to be face-to-face with it, or they just aren’t sure how to be sensitive and want to be politically correct,” said Serrano. “It’s important to get comfortable with the diverse groups of individuals we work and interact with on a daily basis.”
More than 1,700 CSUF students currently benefit from DSS, with resources such as testing accommodations, accessible media and technology, counseling, workshops and peer mentors.
“One of the misconceptions a lot of people have about our office is that we serve people with visible disabilities, such as those who use a wheelchair,” said Serrano. “While we do serve these individuals, we also have resources for students with all types of disabilities.”
In fact, Serrano said some of the most common disabilities on campus are not outwardly visible — ranging from depression and anxiety to attention deficit disorder and dyslexia. DSS provides assurance for students who are hesitant to disclose they have a disability.
“Everything here is confidential,” she said. “There’s a dynamic, diverse group of individuals who are willing to support and encourage you on your academic and personal journey.”