All forms of anti-discrimination

By Angella Anderson

It has now been a week since the Racism, Power and Privilege Forum. There are several nagging thoughts which I feel are important and the principal groups involved should be aware of.

There was no sign language interpreter or real-time captioner at Foellinger or any of the other satellite locations set up for the forum. A deaf student would have found this event inaccessible – which is something that is inexcusable. The list of demands that were handed out at the forum lists ableism as a form of discrimination, yet they are discriminating against one of the groups that they are claiming to represent. Additionally, the webcast and interviews are not closed-captioned, so a deaf student could not watch the webcast after the fact.

The I-resist Web site is inaccessible to students with visual impairments. The list of demands posted on the Web site are image files (pdf or jpg) that cannot be accessed by students using adaptive software.

While waiting outside Foellinger, two female students walked by and stated, “I don’t understand why this is such a big deal!”

These comments are exactly why this is such a big deal. This comment can be applied to any group on campus that feels as though they are being marginalized. It’s not just a race issue – education needs to be implemented from both sides of the table.

If any group on campus needs interpreter services for meetings or events, please contact Theresa Rear at [email protected] In order to make sure that your web site is accessible to everyone, contact Jon Gunderson at [email protected]

If any group or university office needs films closed-captioned, contact me at [email protected]

Angella Anderson, B.S.

Disability Specialist

Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services

Editor’s note: Author has since contacted The Daily Illini and informed us that I-Resist is currently working with Disability Resources and Education Services to address the issues in her letter. She has nonetheless given us permission to publish her letter with the intent of bringing attention to the need for a proactive stance with disabilities issues on campus.