Amazing Race raises student disability awareness

Many go through daily life without setbacks in normal functioning. Some do not remember the others who struggle with different disabilities and need special services, such as the Access Disabled Assistance Programs for Tech Students (ADAPTS) program. To respond to this problem, Mobilizing Opportunities for Volunteer Experience (MOVE) hosted The Amazing Race to Raise Disability Awareness on Friday, March 4.

The race began at the Smithgall Student Services Building, where students participated in team T-shirt design, trivia games and athletic events. This event was the first of its kind, and the Disabilities Committee of MOVE worked closely with ADAPTS.

“I participated in this event in order to help raise awareness for those students with disabilities and special needs. I have a family member who is mentally disabled, so I feel very strongly [toward] promoting this cause,” said Caroline Gwynn, a member of the Disabilities Committee and a first-year STaC major.

Other students came out to help promote an understanding and acceptance of students with handicaps or disabilities.

“I wanted to come out and let people know that this is an important cause that needs to be recognized. The students here at Georgia Tech need to understand the importance of acceptance for kids who are disabled,” said Josh Tuttle, a participant and a fifth-year EE major.

In addition to student participants, ADAPTS administrators attended the Amazing Race as well.

“We hope that the Amazing Race will encourage acceptance and understanding from students,” said Michell Temple, the Disability Services Coordinator for ADAPTS.

“Most students do not realize that at least one in 10 students who are either currently attending college or planning to attend have disabilities or need special services. I am very encouraged to see programs such as this that allow the average students to understand and gain a new perspective into disabilities and special needs. Our goal is that students will welcome and accept those with disabilities and differences,” Temple said.

Temple noted that although this is the first time for the event, ADAPTS and MOVE hope to make it an annual project.

“We are very excited to get this event started,” said Marnie Williams, the Disabilities Committee chair and a first-year BME major. “Many students don’t know how many of their fellow students are disabled, and we just want to help out and raise awareness.”

The event had a turnout of approximately 40 students attending. MOVE also hopes to encourage students to participate in such events in the future.

The Disabilities Committee of MOVE focuses on helping students with disabilities, including Down syndrome, mental retardation, autism and many other handicaps.


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