Lab Assignment + Reflection
I observed a couple of strategies and services that DRES uses to address barriers of representation for people with disabilities today. As I watched the tour, I observed that the DRES facility has a lot to offer such as scholarships, social groups for interaction, and academic coaching for organizational skills. These all benefit the students because the scholarships will allow them to have a chance to get an education, the social groups will better the students with interacting with other students, and the academic coaching will ensure that the student is prepared and organized for a good education. The DRES building and physical designs emphasize how it was made possible for these students. DRES offered first fixed-route busses that were designed with wheelchair lifts. There was also a gym with enhanced equipment to make sure the students are doing the proper physical exercise. There were also elevators designed for wheelchair students who couldn’t reach the normal buttons, so they innovated a way to lower the buttons and allow students in wheelchairs to kick the button if they need to. The National Wheelchair Basketball Association is an example of one of the interdisciplinary partnerships that DRES collaborated with because it started with Tim Nugent organizing the first tournament which led to the foundation of the NWBA. It stood out to me and played a big role in inspiring women with disabilities to be able to participate as well.
3 Memorable Quotes:
“Our diversity is our strength-DRES students represent the entire spectrum of psychological and neurodiversity.”
“Success never rests. On your worst days, be good. On your best days, be great. And on every other day, get better.”
“I don’t need easy. I just need possible.”
I think that two challenges DRES will face in the future is funding and facilities that introduce a similar strategy like DRES (prosthetics for example).
The authors in this week’s readings display how a campus can be diversified successfully and the steps that need to be taken. I believe these authors have made a similar impact to the DRES facility by making all types of students with different backgrounds comfortable, especially at the University of Illinois. With federal financial support and pressure to adopt affirmative action plans, universities began to develop affirmative action programs. To disrupt barriers to push for innovations in inclusion and diversity, Williamson demonstrated how “The initiation of SEOP boosted Black student confidence in the administration, though the students remained wary of procedures for recruitment and program development” (Williamson 57). The SEOP program promoted diversity, and against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement, Illinois began discussing how to increase the number of black students at the University. Additionally, the imbalance of minority student enrollment because of discrimination had to be fixed, and the SEOP committee made sure the university would take measures to end discrimination. Williamson and I would argue that these innovations furthered inclusion and diversity on campus today
In the summer of 1965, “Illinois inaugurated an experimental program both to promote equal educational opportunity and to investigate the academic needs of students, particularly Black students, from disadvantaged high schools” (Williamson 62). The school recognized that even though they met university admission requirements, they will encounter academic difficulties because of their old environments. This strategy helped shape the way African Americans were treated and intensified diversity on campus today.
A strategy to further diversify the campus was La Casa Cultura. The purpose of this was to include bilingual students who descended from Latino families who were either citizens in the United States or immigrants from Latin America. “La Casa Cultura Latina opened its doors in 1974 and set out to provide a home for Latino students and to spread awareness of Latino cultures across the campus” (Hoxie 221). I believe this was a great strategy, but there were still problems with funding, and was forced to rely on one doctoral student after it was created. Renewed student activism seemed to be the only tactic that would produce results.