By Jesse Lee
As part of Haverford’s ongoing campaign to nurture a community of acceptance and tolerance, the Disabilities Awareness Steering Committee hosted Disabilities Awareness Week, a series of events held from November 4-7 to help students gain an understanding of issues pertaining to disabilities.
The purpose of these events was to give disabled persons more exposure and more of a presence in the community. “Our intention was for faculty and students to gain a better understanding of people with disabilities,” said Maxine Margolies, neuro-psychologist for the Office of Disability Services. “We’re working very hard to get the issue of disabilities talked about and hopefully we can keep working on it,” she explained.
The first event in the series was a discussion session and slideshow of artwork created by the blind and visually impaired, led by Allens Lane Art Center volunteer instructor Robert Fluhr. Tables at the front of Chase Auditorium were adorned with detailed sculptures created by visually impaired students. “[The artwork] shows what people can do that have problems to overcome. It’s very inspirational,” said Fluhr, a long-time volunteer instructor of sculpture for the visually disabled.
Other events included the screening of the film “My Left Foot,” a film detailing the life of Irish artist Christy Brown, a writer with cerebral palsy. Additionally, the steering committee held book exhibitions in the Campus Center and Magill Library and
presentations on adaptive technology designed to accommodate people with various types of disabilities.
Disabilities Awareness Week also aimed to direct attention to this often overlooked demographic. “I think [these issues] are just beginning to get the kind of exposure that issues like race and sexuality get,” remarked Margolies. Flur added, “There’s never really enough attention given to the disabled.”