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A Safe Space for Special Needs Minorities: The DiverseAbility Club at Eastern

Isabella Pucci and Alex Holister| Contributing Writers

College life is hard for everyone, especially for the minority group of special needs students who stress working harder than their peers to succeed in college. Some of these students are having a harder time adjusting to a new environment and feel that they might not get the peer support they need because it may be harder for them to either make connections with other peers or to reach out for help when needed. Luckily, the DiverseAbility club at Eastern is here to provide peer support to Eastern students who struggle socially, academically, and emotionally with the rollercoaster-like experience that college can give to special needs students. Meeting every Friday at 3:30 pm in the new Disability Cultural Center (Wood 215), their mission is to create a safe and supportive space where students can express their concerns during college life as students work collaboratively to solve these issues.

Some issues they addressed at meetings were accessibility in Eastern’s buildings, special needs parking permits, and adjusting to a new environment socially. They also educate other Eastern students about disability awareness and more accessible areas around campus. They are planning on using their Instagram, @diverseabilityecsu, to give more information on common disabilities, like autism and ADHD, and to spread awareness on unknown disabilities, like Tourettes and dyslexia. They hope to plan new events, like a medical workshop, to inform Eastern students about the social, emotional, and academic struggles of people with disabilities and to provide resources through the Office of AccessAbility services to those who may need academic support.

This club stands up for anyone who may be disabled and always invites people who want to support their mission of being secure and supportive. Being authentic to yourself is a constant theme throughout DiverseAbility as they continue to promote different backgrounds and are incredibly welcoming. In this club, the President is usually the first person to be made aware of situations. Moreover, the club's Executive Board collaborates when planning events or overcoming issues. Former events hosted by DiverseAbility include Fresh Check Day, Love Yourself Self Care Day, Crystal Fundraiser, Disability Resource Fair, Cards for Hospitalized Kids, and Media Days. Each event takes a lot of time to plan, and the Executive Board works extremely hard to ensure that events are organized and run as smoothly as possible.

Events held by DiverseAbility may even be inclusive towards other people who may not get enough appreciation, such as the Cards for Hospitalized Kids event. In the future, Eastern students can expect to see many more incredible events organized by DiverseAbility that may appeal towards inclusion and coming together as a community regardless of any background differences between other students.

Since DiverseAbility is an awareness club, they also get speakers to come out and discuss important topics everyone should keep in their conscious mind. Not only does this club limit itself to Eastern's campus, but they also discuss issues throughout the nation and try to remain on top of problems worldwide regarding accessibility. Looking into DiverseAbility can quickly be done by the Eastern website or even going out to search through their social media; it's never too late to get involved with DiverseAbility, and they're always looking for new members to welcome with warm arms!


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