DRES to host fifth annual Disability Awareness Program

By Daily Illini Staff Report

Corey Hyslop, a two-time University alumnus, will be the keynote speaker. The program will also feature the Beckwith Resident Panel which is composed of six students with disabilities.

“We’re trying to promote awareness and inform the public about people with disabilities and how we live,” said Ryan Wilson, panel member and Illini Media employee.

Wilson said the panel will host a question-and-answer forum, aimed at informing the community with more information about disabilities. He said the panel is expecting a few hundred attendees.

“Our main goal is to spread awareness about the disability world,” said RaeAnne Lindsay, panel member. “We are trying to break down the walls that society has put up around us and able-bodied people.”

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Chelsey Baker, panel member, said she decided to serve on the panel because she thinks people are often uninformed about disabilities.

“I feel like it provides an opportunity for people to ask questions that they would feel uncomfortable or too nosy asking in a different setting,” Baker said.

Lindsay, who has been helping organizing the panel since the beginning of the year, said she hopes the panel will help break down barriers between disabled and able-bodied people.

Lindsay said she hopes the panel helps “even more students understand that we are just like them. We just get around differently.”

The program is sponsored by Disability Resources and Educational Services at the University. DRES was originally founded by Tim Nugent in 1948 to help veteran students. DRES now exists as a resource for all students with disabilities.

The panel will be held Wednesday in the SDRP Multipurpose Rooms of the Ikenberry Commons from 7-9 p.m. The event is open to the public and will include giveaways for attendees.

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