In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Allies for Inclusion: The Ability Exhibit debuted at Saint Louis University on October 27, 2010.
The purpose of The Ability Exhibit is to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities through respect for others, comfort during interactions, and awareness of disability issues. Using a multi-media approach to demonstrate respect, comfort and awareness, the exhibit offers suggestions for becoming disability allies and educators.
The Ability Exhibit was created by SLU graduate students in the Disability in Higher Education and Society course under the direction of their instructor, Karen Myers, PhD. It is sponsored by the Saint Louis University Leadership and Higher Education Department and the Division of Student Development with generous donations from the Division of Information Technology Services and Logan College of Chiropractic. Plans to display the exhibit on other campuses are in progress.
It has been twenty years since the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and almost forty years since the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Both of these laws protect against discrimination of people with disabilities by requiring equal access to employment, education, goods and services. Americans have progressed in their attitudes and behaviors toward people with disabilities; however, there remain questions and concerns about appropriate communication, comfort level, and inclusive practices.
When it comes to interacting with individuals with disabilities, people ask, “What should I do?” How should I respond?” “Is it okay to say that?” “How can I become an ally?” Allies for Inclusion: The Ability Exhibit will attempt to answer some of these questions.
To host Allies for Inclusion: The Ability Exhibit on your campus, please contact Dr. Karen Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org.