Oakland University celebrates Disability Awareness Month
Disability Awareness Month at Oakland University will kick off at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 1 in the Gold Rooms at the Oakland Center with a Disability Awareness Workshop developed to provide an interactive experience for community members to learn about different disability areas.
“There will be multiple tables that focus on different disability types and provide an interactive experience,” said Sarah Guadalupe, director of Disability Support Services at OU. “For example, there is a braille typewriter available where one can type their name or a phrase and see what their name/phrase looks like in braille. There are also numerous other tables with other disabilities, such as learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, etc.
“Our hope is to bring awareness to the various disabilities that can be present and that they aren’t always visible,” Guadalupe added.
Disability Awareness Month will continue on from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Oct. 8 in Ballrooms A and B in the Oakland Center during a Mental Health Awareness Forum featuring Eric Hipple, a former NFL quarterback with the Detroit Lions and professional motivational speaker.
“The Mental Health Awareness Forum is an event to bring awareness to mental health issues, particularly suicide prevention and de-stigmatization,” Guadalupe said. “This free event, which is open to the community, will be followed by a panel discussion made up of numerous professionals that have extensive mental health experience within the community.”
Members of the panel include: Hipple, Stephanie Brandimarte (director, OU Field and Student Services; Social Work Program), Christine Burk (director, Commnications and Community Outreach; Oakland Community Health Network), Dr. Robert Lacoste (medical director, Behavioral Center; Ascension Providence Rochester Hospital), Penny Luebs (commissioner, Oakland County Board of Commissioners and clinical supervisor; Easter Seals), and Dr. David Schwartz (director, OU Counseling Center). To register, visit oakland.edu/dss.
“Disability Awareness Month will include numerous events that highlight the important of disability awareness and our goal of focusing on abilities,” Guadalupe said. “It is important to recognize that we all have differences and that emphasis should be placed on one’s strengths and abilities.”
On Monday, Oct. 14, come cheer on OU students, faculty, staff and administrator as they participate in a game of wheelchair basketball from noon to 1 p.m. in the O’rena. To register online, visit oakland.edu/dss.
“The hope for this event is to stress the importance of highlighting and understanding one’s abilities and to bring awareness to those abilities through a fun experience,” Guadalupe said.
Other Disability Awareness Month activities include:
• Habitat Movie Day, 11:30-1:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 23 in the Oakland Center: Come see a showing of Inside Out, an animated movie that highlights many different emotions.
• Habitat Comedy Show, 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 23 in the Oakland Center: Patrick Fischer a.k.a. Mr. Shineyhead, a deaf performer and comedian, has performed nationally and internationally and will bring fun and laughter to the OU community. This event is sponsored by the Oakland University Student Congress.
For more information about these events, as well as other services available through Disability Support Services at Oakland University, visit oakland.edu/dss or contact Sarah Guadalupe by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (248) 370-3266.