By Afua ohenewaa Amankwaah
The inaugural Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Decolonization (EDID) week celebrated and brought to light the multifarious aspects that make the Windsor community unique. This event featured a wide array of speakers, educators and academics with knowledge and expertise on ways to promote EDID. The Disability Awareness Event took place on the 22nd of March and was hosted by librarian Karen Pillion with lead presenters, University of Windsor alumni, David Robbins Singh and Daniel Macri. This was the fourth of five workshops with the theme ‘making UWindsor Accessible’: discussing initiatives. David and Daniel shared their perspectives as well as their experiences at the UWindsor.
David, public speaker, and elementary school teacher provided a first-hand outlook on issues relating to disability in everyday life. He served as a peace fellow for the advocacy project of Uganda where he promoted and continues to promote disability rights and accessibility.
Within their presentations David and Dane, as Daniel is more commonly referred, broke down different aspects of disability as well as intersectionality. In sharing their views and experiences as individuals living with disabilities they provided a fundamental understanding on ways in which the campus could become more equitable, inclusive, and accessible.
Dane shed light on the importance of his independence, as well as the unique challenges he faced as an undergraduate at UWindsor. He communicated the struggles he experienced within classrooms and advocated for classrooms to be more physically accessible, especially in ways that are not isolating for students. Dane also expressed the need for better resources including during school field trips for students who are living with disabilities. The need for accessibility in campus spaces also includes the clearing of ramps and sidewalks particularly during the winter season as this has the potential to prevent students’ access to campus buildings.
“When you see a person in a chair, look beyond the label." - Daniel
As was emphasised in the presentation, we must move away from letting mobility define an individual. Evident in true allyship and as discussed by David in the experiment he conducted with his sixth-grade class, we must learn how to best provide support and educate ourselves and those around us.
A crop with support, can still bear!