Students Concerned about Disability Awareness, S.C.A.D.A. for short, is an organization on campus with the purpose to promote and raise disability awareness, has become an official organization as of last Thursday.
S.C.A.D.A. is an organization on campus that was founded about 8-9 years ago, according to faculty advisor and Adaptive Needs Program director Deborah Sellers.
The organization worked with administration and accomplished a lot; however, the club fell by the wayside when the group leaders graduated.
“The group is meant to bring awareness to issues that other students just take for granted,” said Sellers.
Sellers also said that other than focusing on awareness, the club also focuses on forming friendships among students with similar issues and for the students to derive pleasure from it.
Thanks to the interest of a couple of students, S.C.A.D.A. has become a renewed organization on campus.
S.C.A.D.A. president Elizabeth Chisholm, freshman human resources major from Panama City, Fla., said that the organization is doing several things to help bring awareness to issues with disabled students.
“We had a guest speaker, Dr. Natalie Whalen – former Miss Wheelchair Alabama – come talk to the club on Thursday, and she helped students become aware of the difficulties of having a disability and how to be an advocate,” she said.
“We have also promoted disability awareness on Facebook and Twitter,” said Chisholm.
The organization also does work for the community. Chisholm is currently being supported as a Civic Scholar and is being helped with building a ramp for a local family in need.
“We also have high hopes of working with Habitat for Humanity in the future,” Chisholm said. “We always have our eyes open for ways to help others both on campus and off campus.”
Chisholm said that the organization has big plans for the future.
She said that because the club is fairly new, they have not had much time to host fundraisers yet.
“One of our most exciting and impacting events will be a compassion dinner, which we hope to hold in the new future,” Chisholm said.
Chisholm continued to explain that this compassion dinner will contain meal courses during which the diner will experience eating as a person with various disabilities.
She said this will give people the opportunity to hear testimonials and gain information about disability awareness.
Chisholm said that there have not been any major challenges with the organization and the university, but there have been experiences that have helped them strive to become a better organization.
“We have managed to not only get the club up and running, but also have wonderful opportunities to reach out to fellow students and spread disability awareness.”
In regards to the current issues with handicap accessible areas on campus, Chisholm said there is room for improvement.
“Although several aspects of the campus are handicap accessible, there are a few areas that need improvement,” she said.
“The majority of the sidewalks on campus have several holes and cracks that could easily catch the end of a crutch. Some dorms, such as Alumni and Hamil Hall, are inaccessible to anyone in a wheel chair.”
She said that the solution for these issues range from simple repairs to major reconstruction.
S.C.A.D.A. plans to help fund these projects to keep the campus more handicap friendly.
If you are interested in joining the cause, you can find S.C.A.D.A. on Facebook – facebook.com/ScadaTroy, and also on Twitter – @SCADA_Troy.