University Accessibility Center helps educate campus community in Disability Awareness Week

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Disability Awareness Week, provided by the University Accessibility Center, returns to campus from Jan. 23-28. The week focuses on providing students with events and service opportunities to learn about students who deal with disabilities both visible and invisible, according to Rachel Lyon, assistant director of the UAC.

The week began with a sign-up to do a “virtual 5K run, walk or roll” as well as a service project facilitated through the BYU Office of Belonging. The students will have until Feb. 1 to report their completion of the virtual 5K. “The first 100 registrants to report completion of the 5K will receive $10 Cougar Cash,” Lyon said.

On Jan. 26, students can participate in “PEN Talks: Untold Stories Forum” — a discussion that features a panel of students with disabilities sharing their experiences and the impact of their disabilities, according to Tyler Briggs, coordinator with the UAC.

“A lot of people do not know how important the UAC is when it comes to providing assistance … leading with belonging will hopefully direct our students to those resources provided by UAC,” Fui Vakapuna, belonging advisor with the Office of Belonging, said.

Tim Jafek, co-president of the ADHD club, said this week will help people understand disabled students’ experiences and how students can get involved to best support and engage with students who have disabilities.

Soana Laulutou poses in front of the Words of Affirmation tree. The tree is one of the service projects offered throughout the week. (Jared Cordova)

“Our mission is to help bring everyone together regarding the word belong, making everyone feel included. We include LGBTQ+, international, multicultural, non-members and students with disabilities … we strive to include everybody,” Soana Laulotu, BYU student and social manager for the Office of Belonging, said.

For more information on the accessibility center’s role in assisting students with disabilities, visit their website.

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