Series focuses on disability awareness
DSPS to host films, end misconceptions
Published: Thursday, October 9, 2008
Updated: Thursday, October 9, 2008 15:10
Disabled Students Programs and Services, the Library and staff development will be presenting a disability awareness series starting today at 1 p.m. in LLRC-107 to give viewers insight into those living with disabilities.
The film series will also focus on making it through adversity and how not to let obstacles control one's life.
"I think it is important that students see these films," student Ne'cole Braziel said. "By showing these films, the campus is showing that they care about students."
Planned to occur throughout October, Disability Awareness Month, each event will be moderated by a different Contra Costa College professor, DSPS Manager Yasuko Abe said.
The first film scheduled to be shown is "Shameless: The Art of Disability," a documentary aimed at dispelling myths surrounding people with disabilities by capturing the lives of five disabled artists and their relationships.
Subsequent films will take a similar approach, attempting to educate viewers on the realities of people with disabilities.
"It is important to see how other people live," alternative media specialist Teresina Steffes said. "We need to see how people with disabilities manage their circumstances."
In addition to educating students, Abe said, the series will look to change their perceptions and attitudes for the better.
"You learn from them and they learn from you," Braziel said. "So, if you ever encounter a disabled person, you will be more sensitive to their needs.
"The series is a way of bringing attention to individuals that are living with disabilities and the adversity they have to face on a day-to-day basis," she said. "I think this film series will open people's minds."
While the events are planned to provide students with information and rarely seen perspectives, the films will also aim to reduce the amount of misplaced pity many direct at disabled persons, Steffes said.
"They must live productive lives like anyone else. Instead of people feeling sorry for them, people can feel what they go through," Steffes said.
So far, news of the upcoming events has been met with strong approval from students.
"I think this is really good that they are taking time out trying to give students insight on disabilities and the hardships that people with disabilities face every day," student Elizabeth Gutierrez said. "I might just go check out one of the films to show my support for the DSPS."
According to Steffes, the films will show how everybody's life can be enriched no matter what the circumstances are, giving the message that everyone can be successful in their own way.
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