Student-organized events will provide spaces for reflection and education on issues of ableism, accessibility, and inclusion
By Gracie Hatch ’25
Beginning March 28, Lafayette College’s MOSAIC Mentoring and Companionship team will be hosting a series of events for Disabilities Awareness Week. “These events focus on engaging with community partners and providing spaces for reflection and education on issues of ableism, accessibility, and inclusion in our community,” says Beth Anne Castellano ’22, director of the mentoring and companionship team of MOSAIC.
“I think that this is a really important topic that is rarely discussed on campus,” says Alison Maxwell ’22, assistant director of the mentoring and companionship team. “I don’t think that many conversations about disabilities are happening on this campus, but this topic affects lots of people in lots of different ways, so I’m really excited to be continuing the conversation that we started last year.”
Castellano and Maxwell worked with Jordan Mendez ’22, Harshil Bhavsar ’23, and Alexa Raxenberg ’24 to bring the agenda together. Maxwell explains that “this will be a really great event highlighting people with disabilities, work opportunities, and local organizations that people can get more involved with.”
This is the second year Lafayette has arranged a series of events for Disabilities Awareness Week, yet the first year featuring in-person events. The MOSAIC mentoring and companionship team has partnered with Amy Arnold, accessibility coordinator, and Marty Sullivan, assistant director of accessibility services, for a series of events and workshops catered to Lafayette students and staff. Other Lafayette College partners include Chelsea Morrese, director of the Landis Center, and Mary Foulk, office coordinator of the Landis Center, Michael Nees, associate professor of psychology, and Dear Lafayette, a student coalition dedicated to fighting racism. Community partners include Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living and Learning Enrichment Experiences Services.
The events are aimed at combating the stigmatization of disabilities, to reiterate how to spot ableism, to help people be better allies to the disabled community, and to encourage open and honest discussions about how Lafayette College can be more accessible and inclusive of all people.
To get involved with Disabilities Awareness Week, students are encouraged to register for events through OurCampus. Food will be provided at all programs. Here is the schedule of events:
March 28 | 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Location: Mojo 516 Café or donate directly
This fundraiser for the Miracle League of Northampton County supports “high-quality recreational facilities and programs for individuals with special needs and their families.”
March 28 | 6-7 p.m.
Location: RISC 262
Dear Lafayette will help attendees gain a foundational understanding of disability models and learn about ways to support differently abled students.
March 29, 6 p.m.
Location: Hugel 100
Listen to speakers from Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living and Learning Enrichment Experiences Services, who will highlight how their programs assist with job security and volunteer opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
March 31 | 4-5 p.m.
Location: Marlo Room
Lafayette Accessibility Services will run two training sessions for those wanting to better understand how to successfully run accessible meetings or programs, and for those wishing to be more aware of accessibility needs on campus.
March 31 | 5-6 p.m
Location: Marlo Room
April 1 | 12:15 p.m.
Location: Pardee 320A
This conversation is to discuss accessibility at Lafayette College. A survey is available to get involved in the open discussion.