Vanderbilt’s Office for Inclusive Excellence continues ‘InclusAbility Campaign’

InclusAbility Campaign this year includes a series of workshops, speakers and other programming throughout the semester to educate the Vanderbilt student body and celebrate those who are disabled.

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InclusAbility campaign is run by the Office of Inclusive Excellence. (Photo by Claire Barnett)

Katie Crawford

The Office for Inclusive Excellence (OIE) at Vanderbilt will continue their InclusAbility campaign with events throughout the semester such as “Accessibility to Higher Education” and “Autism 101” to educate the student body that disability is one part of a student’s identity and the importance of working with disabled community to foster an inclusive campus environment.

The initiative was launched in 2018 with the hopes of providing all students an equal opportunity to Vanderbilt’s resources. It also hopes to bring to light the intersections of disability with multiple groups on campus. Program Coordinator at the OIE Mytrice Allen said in an email to The Hustler that OIE works with Next teps, the Vanderbilt Alliance on Disability and Condition (VADC), Vanderbilt Student Government and the Vanderbilt Autism & Neurodiversity Alliance (VANA).

OIE has already hosted an Accessibility in Higher Education workshop for graduate students and faculty as well as a Deaf Awareness & Culture 101 event in which students, faculty and staff learned about Deaf culture and other basic information.

We hope that the InclusAbility campaign will help the Vanderbilt community to understand that inclusion moves beyond compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and must involve the full participation and collaboration [of the community] in conjunction with people with disabilities,” Allen said.

There is an upcoming event March 12 entitled “Stories of Vanderbilt: Disability & Condition” during Disability Awareness Week, which is March 9-13, in which speakers with disabilities will be sharing their personal stories about disability on the Vanderbilt campus. 

“A campaign for including the disability community is not only necessary on Vanderbilt’s campus, but also is a necessity for all campuses. Disability is often overlooked as a facet of diversity and identity, which makes it that much harder to create an inclusive environment,” Allen said.