JJC Invites the Public to Disability Awareness Day Presentation Oct. 29

Joliet Junior College’s Disability Awareness Day presentation and role playing activity will help the public understand what it’s like to have a disability on Wednesday, Oct. 29 in the U-Building Auditorium on the Main Campus, 1215 Houbolt Road in Joliet. The community is invited to the event, which will include three presentations starting at 9 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.

During the presentation, students will talk about their experiences living with a disability. A role-playing activity will take place before each speech, so that the audience can see what it’s like to live with a disability from the speaker’s point of view.

JJC student and Diamond resident Kelsi Bertheaume, who spoke at last year’s Disability Awareness Day presentation, said she thinks the JJC event is an opportunity to show support for others in the community with disabilities.

“I encourage others to support those who are disabled in any way they can,” she said. “Many people have hidden disabilities, such as a learning disorder, or Asperger’s syndrome. Like with me, people don’t know I’m legally blind in my right eye unless I tell them. Come out and support our speakers and volunteers as we educate others about disability awareness.”

Brittani Edwards, JJC student and Bolingbrook resident, agreed.

“I’m participating in Disability Awareness Day because I want to share my experience and accomplishments as a deaf person. I want everyone to know that I am proud of who I am,” Edwards said. “We want to encourage everyone to listen to these stories because it’s important to know what we have been through.”

JJC counselor and adjunct instructor Lori Smith-Okon said JJC’s Disability Awareness Day presentation benefits both the speakers and audience. Students gain confidence by speaking about their disability, and audience members become more comfortable talking about disabilities.

For more information about Disability Awareness Day, contact Smith-Okon at 815-280-2677 or lsmithok@jjc.edu.

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