EWU student disability club breaks stereotypes

By Kaisa Siipola, Reporter

Learning about disability doesn’t have to be limited to students with disabilities.

“The Student Disability Culture Club is a diversity club that focuses on breaking down disability stereotypes and talking about disability culture,” EWU SDCC President Matthew Seeberger said.

The club currently has eight members; six of them are officers.

The SDCC was developed by students Aubrey Gilmore, Dorcas Awuah and Haylee Betts who were enrolled in the Disability Studies capstone course during winter 2018 because they wanted to build community, and enhance activism and advocacy on campus, according to Director of Disability Studies Ryan Parrey.

To Seeberger, having a SDCC means providing a space for people to learn and see disability as just another experience.

“I thought it was very interesting and because I am a disabled student myself,” Seeberger said.

Too often we can forget that disability isn’t just about classroom accommodations, but it’s about people and community.”

— Ryan Parrey, director of disability studies

Lujan Ramirez is another club member; she is the social media chair for the club and is currently working on new posters to hang up around campus.

Ramirez said she joined the club after she had a class with Seeberger who explained the club’s mission.

Having a SDCC to Ramirez is having the opportunity to break down stereotypes of disability, teach and educate people about disability, and help those who may go into career fields working with people with disabilities.

“Even if I don’t go into a field where I am working with people with disabilities, it’s good to be aware and to know things, and that’s why I really enjoy it,” Ramirez said.

Parrey remembers when he was the only disabled student in college and says that he didn’t think about making friends on campus at the time. He  says that he wanted something that helped EWU students with disabilities make friends.

“Too often we can forget that disability isn’t just about classroom accommodations, but it’s about people and community,” Parrey said. “I know some students that didn’t know each other before an event and now they’re best friends, and I think that’s just perfect, and it’s exactly what it’s supposed to be.”

Members of the SDCC hope to host a movie night, fundraisers and more club meetings according to Seeberger.

The SDCC’s goals are to establish funding for next year, recruit more members, break down disability stereotypes and pass the torch to the next SDCC club president by next year, according to Seeberger.

More information on the Student Disability Culture Club can be found on its Instagram @ewu.sdclub and on its Orgsync.