This semester, the UWC has introduced a series of workshops designed to help consultants better address the needs of UT’s diverse student body. I attended the first workshop, the disABILITY Advocate Program administered by Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD).
SSD is currently housed in UT’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement rather than in an academic or medical division. This residency reflects a growing trend in accommodation services—the determination to understand disability through a minority model. This newer model contrasts older medical perspectives, which considered disability a problem that needed a cure, or even slightly more recent social models that encourage changes in environment to make spaces more accessible. In disability advocacy today, the question is no longer just how to make classrooms, campuses and centers accessible. Instead, experts focus on accommodation and INCLUSION, practices that welcome all forms of diversity by fostering what SSD calls “meaningful participation and a sense of belonging” for each student.Read More