Disability Awareness Day provides information and activities

PLAYING HOOPS—Activities in Disability Awareness Day include live wheelchair basketball and raffles. Information about DSP&S program was available in the booths. CN/Kevin Gonzalez

By Julio Sanchez

From activities to prizes to a live wheelchair basketball game, East Los Angeles College’s Diversabilities Support Program and Services hosted Disability Awareness Day.

The event took place in front of the college on the Disability Awareness Day on Wednesday.

The event provided students with resources and information on disabilities.

There was activities like raffles and a wheelchair basketball game.

The event also had different groups and organizations offering the public information on how to sign up and get involved with the program or how to receive information.

Also in attendance were programs like the Welcome and Support Resource Center, Associated Student Union, East Los Angeles Women’s Center and Student Health Center.

Disabled Student Programs and Services’ Adjunct Disability Specialist Jaqueline Gutierrez said that the program offers students with disabilities resources like computer lab equipment with assistive technology, tutoring, counseling and assistance in note taking.

She also said that the program is trying to find a way for students with dyscalculia, a brain disorder making math severely difficult, to get a degree without having to take math classes.

“We’re looking into working with the math department to find some type of math substitution,” said Gutierrez. “(Disabled students)  reach their fourth attempt and, unfortunately, that’s the only thing keeping them from getting a degree. Those are the students that we need to do something to help them.”

One of the programs present was ELAC’s Veterans Resource Center, which offers assistance and services to all veterans, service members and dependents regardless of discharge.

The VRC’s career guidance counseling assistant, Reuban Roque, said that the center offers veterans tutoring, assistance with mental health, and assistance for family members.

“We try to help veterans transfer from the military world to the civilian world,” Roque said.    

The Student Health and Wellness Center was there to inform attendees on the services that the center offers.

Student-worker Martin Sanchez said that the center offers students, blood pressure screening, STD counseling, 200 free flu shots and many other services this semester.    

The event also featured a wheelchair basketball game with a team from Rancho Los Amigos hospital playing against a team of students from ELAC.

One of the students who played in the basketball game was a freshman with disabilities and psychology student Francisco Campillo.

Campillo said that he was appreciative of the event because it shows people with disabilities that they are not alone.

And that there are many people who want to help those with disabilities prosper.

“I was one of the victims of depression,” Campillo said. “Most disabilities have a background. We have a background and we want to share what we are and show people who we are.”

“It’s not about winning or losing. It’s about the community,” said Campillo.

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