Event to allow students to ‘step into the world’ of disabilities


Kennedy DeRaedt/Iowa State Daily

Iowa State students participate in the “Step into my World” event Oct. 7, 2016, as a part of Disability Awareness Week. The event was held at UDCC.

Morrgan Zmolek

Disability Awareness Week is winding down here at Iowa State, with only a few events left in the series.

To start the last day of events, there will be an interactive opportunity from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at the Parks Library Awning called “Step Into My World,” where students without disabilities have the opportunity to see what it’s like to have one.

This event will provide students with an experience that not only makes them aware of disabilities, but also shows them how difficult living with one can be, as with most disabilities, illnesses or tough experiences, it’s hard to imagine what it’s like until experienced directly.

Wendy Stevenson, the associate director of Student Accessibility Services, said this yearly event is really about giving students without disabilities a new perspective on how difficult it can be just to get around campus and go to classes. She encourages everyone to attend, but especially those in majors like event planning, management or education to make them more aware of some of the struggles future employees or students may have.

The event will feature multiple opportunities for students to experience some of what it’s like to have a physical disability, such as walking with a cane, maneuvering a wheelchair or navigating campus blindfolded. The purpose is to bring an understanding to how difficult it is for disabled students to do something that most of the student body have the capability of doing — getting around campus.

Stevenson also talked about the Spoon Theory. In essence, the Spoon Theory, is when a person is given five spoons a day to represent their energy. This energy, for the average student, is used on activities like socializing, walking to class, getting ready in the morning or studying. In contrast, someone with a disability will expel that energy a lot quicker because it can take them far longer to do any one of those activities.

Concerning the overall outcome of Disability Awareness Week, Stevenson said it was a very successful week filled with many interesting events and speakers that were able to help those in attendance learn more about the impacts of disabilities from someone who has experienced them firsthand.

“Step Into My World” will be hosted on the Parks Library Awning and is one of the final event opportunities for Disability Awareness Week.