Week 2 – Reading Response + Lab Reflection

Reading Response –

There were several methods that DRES and Nugent applied to change the way disability was treated on campus and eased the lives of several members of the community. Some of the most noticeable and landmark strategies that were used to disrupt were creation of a climate that welcomed disabled students and a program that drew them into the campus mainstream while providing spaces where a separate com-munity of their own could nurture and encourage them. There were accommodations towards disabled veterans, disabled students’ ability to open doors and portray adaptability, and the integration of sports and recreation. Created wheelchair accessible buildings, sidewalks, and other infrastructure to provide a truly accessible campus experience. In terms of disability accommodation the campus became a model of innovative architectural design. The governor, William Stratton gave a speech which legitimized and greatly showed support for the program.

Before DRES, and during the past two centuries, many Americans believed individuals with disabilities were deviant, or worse. Those with disabilities were cast aside, like criminals, away from public view. This was more or less the cultural perspective and a barrier that DRES had to overcome. This was overcome by the creation of DRES, and it was also the first barrier that they had to overcome. Nugent shepherded a program that succeeded in shattering longstanding, pervasive institutional, physical, economic, psychological, and other barriers that marginalized and ostracized people with disabilities. Another more recent issue that DRES faced was the ability for students with disabilities to receive access to technologies at the University of Illinois. By the creation of DRES, “The inventiveness and passion of the program that Nugent created did something even more important: it made these innovations commonplace, first on the university campus and eventually, across the nation and many parts of the world.”

Lab Reflection –

Questions –

1. How do veterans play a role in the culture of the University and how does UofI make these student veterans feel welcomed culturally in the university?

2. What are the different programs and facilities in terms of policies and infrastructure that benefit the veteran community? How is their cultural experience?

Line of Inquiry –

There are a few things we could do to find out the answer to our questions – First research about the veteran community at UofI, find out RSOs that exist on campus for veterans, learn about the buildings that have been made for the Army and veterans. Interview veterans and learn about the facilities they enjoy as being part of the veteran community, also learn about their responsibilities as a veteran if any.

Pieces of Evidence –

#1 Geri Young | Who Are the Illini? 1:05-1:13

This video talks about the life of a veteran on campus. Geri Young is a veteran and she talks about night counseling with the veterans on campus, this is one of the examples of how the University has created policies to make veterans feel more welcome.

#2 Geri Young | Who Are the Illini? 0:20-0:45

This part of the same video talks about the cultural differences and how the univeristy diversity helps her feel welcome at the university, it also talks about the age and cultural gap.

#3 Chez Veteran Centre

https://www.library.illinois.edu/mappinghistory/campus-map-timeline/

The map contains the Chez Veteran Centre in Urbana, which was established by the University to give support to the veteran population at the University.

#4 Veteran Memorial Project

A project found in the digital archives to honor the men and women of the University of Illinois who made the supreme sacrifice as members of the U. S. Armed Forces during our nation’s wars and conflicts so that we may live and learn in freedom.

Analysis –

– I learned about the extensive archives that the univeristy keeps about all its landmark policies and achievements. It was interesting to learn how the University supports its veteran community. The digital archives were a rich source of information that depicted clearly how students think about the facilities provided by the university. The gallery provided students with the opportunity to learn in detail about the heritage that is present at UofI.

– My line of inquiry was all answered by the evidence that I was able to find through these archives. It helped me learn a lot about the life of veterans at the Univeristy both in terms of the benefits, policies they enjoy and also the cultural perspectives of veterans. Learning about the Memorial Project, the Chez Veterans center, and watching the Geri Young video taught me about how age and past life experiences also play a role in the university experience. I also learned how the university awards the countries heros with amazing policies, and infrastructure such as the Chez Center.

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