Recently, students from The Teacher Academy at Grant Career Center participated in a Disability Workshop at Wright State University. Presented by the WSU Office of Disability Services and Department of Teacher Education, the workshop allowed participants to explore diversity as it relates to disabilities.
Grant’s Teacher Academy students took part in round table discussions led by Wright State University students with disabilities. These WSU students spoke about the challenges they faced as they moved through the schooling process and about various measures Wright State has made to accommodate students with disabilities. The Teacher Academy class was able to ask questions about how to implement learning strategies to help students with disabilities in their classrooms. Other round table presenters included professionals who create Braille textbooks, serve as interpreters, or provide other needed support to students with disabilities at Wright State University.
Also at the workshop, a presenter from the WSU Office of Disability Services led a seminar entitled “Choose a Disability.” In this seminar, the presenter asked the audience, “If you had to choose a disability, would you prefer to be diagnosed with blindness, quadriplegia, cerebral palsy, or a developmental disability?” The presenter led students in a discussion of the pros and cons of each disability, asking them to share their reasons for choosing a particular disability. J.R. Forsee, a Teacher Academy student and varsity athlete, shared, “I chose blindness because I could still be physically active.” Teacher Academy instructor Mrs. Julie Crozier shared, “I would not want to suffer from a developmental disability because I couldn’t be a scholar and a teacher.”
After hearing reasons why attendees would or would not pick each disability, the “Choose a Disability” presenter explained the purpose of her seminar. She pointed out that when sharing the pros of each disability, attendees worded their reasons in positive and logical terms, but when sharing the cons, attendees worded their reasons in negative and emotional terms. She emphasized that people do not make rational decisions based on irrational feelings. The presenter also reminded the audience that when interacting with people with disabilities, it is important not to react based on stereotypes.
After the seminar, Teacher Academy students enjoyed lunch in the Wright State University Commons with Jack McKnight, Assistant Director of the Office of Partnerships and Field Experiences for the College of Education and Human Services. McKnight, organizer of the Disability Workshop, invited The Teacher Academy students to tour the WSU campus and meet officials from the College of Education and Human Services.
The Teacher Academy students who attended the WSU Disability Workshop include Sydney Clancy, J.R. Forsee, Brittany Hahn, Craig Hoagland, Erica Jones, Taylor McKinnon, Jáe Mosley, B.J. Roa, Taylor Robinson, and Tonya Sheets.
For more information about The Teacher Academy, visit www.grantcareer.com.