For members of Diversability, discussion of disability issues on campus has gained momentum.
Participants in “The Ability to Express,” which will be held from 8 to 10 p.m. in ICC 102 on Wednesday, will be asked to finger-paint as a way of visualizing conceptions of disability, “to counter the negative stereotypes and stigmas that are often associated,” Diversability board member Elisa Dun (SFS ’10) said in an e-mail.
“Disability means something different to every person affected by it,” Dun said.
According to Tiffany Yu (MSB ’10), founder of the Diversability initiative, this event will demonstrate diverse perspectives on the topic that she said “transcends demographics.”
Since receiving a $500 Reimagine Georgetown grant this fall, Yu put her proposal into action with Diversability, a group with a dual purpose: to raise awareness about disability and to reshape people’s ideas about disability. Yu called the grant invaluable in the aid it has provided and credits it with making the group known on campus.
Since its formation as a working group last October, Diversability has become a full-fledged student organization. It hosted its first event in February, called “The Ability to Laugh.” The event involved discussion centering on the documentary film “Look Who’s Laughing,” which chronicles the stories of comics with disabilities, according to Yu.
Taylor Price (MSB ’10), who has been an active opponent of discrimination against people with physical disabilities, said that he feels Diversability a needed presence to campus.
“Diversability is just a great initiative,” Price said. “It brings people together and raises awareness.”
Dun said that she became involved with Diversability after finding the rest of the community lacking in drive to address “able-ism,” which she defines as “discrimination against persons with disabilities.”
Price agreed with Dun about the need for discussions addressing disability issues. “So far this group is still really breaking ground,” he said. “There’s never been a group like this on campus.” Dun and Yu both cited a lack of knowledge of disability issues as the primary cause of this apathy.
“One question I’ve often been asked is, `Why should people care about this?'” Yu said in an e-mail. “And that’s exactly why we’ve created this group. . Disability affects all of us, and we want to think of creative ways that students can start or continue the conversation.”
Yu also attributes Diversability’s success in part to the support from various on-campus organizations, including chaplains-in-residence, hall directors and area coordinators, members of the Academic Resource Center, InterHall, the department of English, the LGBTQ Resource Center and Health Education Services. She said she hopes that the widespread enthusiasm will help propel Diversability to success even beyond her graduation from Georgetown.
**Correction:** This article originally stated that \”The Ability to Express\” would take place in ICC 202. The event will take place in ICC 102.”
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