SEE3 teaches disability awareness

The SEE3 campaign events coincide with Disability Awareness Month.

Nikki Wee

At the announcer’s cue on Friday, three people in wheelchairs dashed for the finish line.

As the lead wheelchair made its way toward the end of the course, Pooja Garg got out of her wheelchair in a humorous stunt and started pushing it toward the finish line.

“As you can see, I’m a much better wheelchair pusher than a wheelchair rider,” said Garg, a business and marketing education senior. “But I had fun, even though I cheated.”

The wheelchair race was just one of many events the Disabled Student Cultural Center hosted Friday to kick off the on-campus celebration of Disability Awareness Month.

“My friend told me to come out here,” said Garg, who is also a member of the DSCC. “I didn’t know about it at first, but anything that has to do with the disability services, I support.”

Throughout October, DSCC will host a variety of events as part of the larger SEE3 project, an awareness campaign meant to give the campus community a chance to experience activities that a disabled person may experience in his or her everyday life.

The month’s theme, “See Ability, See Disability, See Me” is meant to help people realize that there is more to a people than their disabilities, DSCC board member Uriah McKinney said.

“I think it’s an important message to the community,” he said.

First-year geology student Mohd Faris Hashim said he saw the event as he was walking from a class and thought it looked like a lot of fun. He said it ended up being an educational experience as well when he participated in blindfold basketball.

“It’s really hard. You didn’t know anything at all. You just throw and hope you make a basket,” he said. “I really hope more people can get involved, it helps us to realize that even people without disabilities aren’t perfect.”

McKinney said he hopes to change the attitudes that some people have toward people with disabilities.

“When people see me walk with a cane, they see me walking with a cane, not me as an individual,” McKinney said. “Even when there isn’t that visual symbol, people tend to get a different attitude when they learn about a disability.

“SEE3’s campaign is trying to break that attitude,” he said.

The University chapter of DSCC was the first disabled cultural center in the nation, and has 200 to 300 members, but there are at least 840 registered students with disabilities at the University, according to group members.

The group does more than Disability Awareness Month. To increase the level of disability awareness throughout the year, DSCC also hosts monthly Lunch & Learns, where the group chooses a different disability to highlight and discuss every lunch.