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Fairmont State University Organizations of Interest: Falcons for Disability Advocacy

Fairmont State University Organizations of Interest: Falcons for Disability Advocacy

Falcons for Disability Advocacy, a brand-new student organization this semester here at Fairmont State University, is a special-interest club dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities. Advised by Abigail Franks, the Accessibility Services organizer, and run by a talented team of student leaders, the clubs main focuses include increasing awareness of all types of disabilities, both physical and neurodivergent, while encouraging students to build self-advocacy skills and provide social support. This organization has been long anticipated since the first interest meetings started midway through the Spring 2023 semester. The first official meeting of Falcons for Disability Advocacy is currently unscheduled, so keep an eye out for their first appearances and upcoming events across campus!

On campus, Falcons for Disability Advocacy hopes to create as much of a community as possible to allow for increased dialogue regarding disability access in both academics and daily life, as well as to provide a support system where students can rely on one another to speak up for themselves and others. Finding a support system can be difficult, and Falcons for Disability Advocacy strives to build that community for all those who want or need one. As a club, Falcons for Disability Advocacy plans to work with both Fairmont-based and outside organizations to expand the community and promote personal advocacy. Proposed events for the group so far include Painting the Bell to raise awareness of the need for disability advocacy, Trunk or Treat to connect with the wider community, and hosting collaborative events with other student organizations to promote campus unity and spread the word about accessibility and advocacy.

To all students who deal with a disability in their or someone they care about’s lives, advocating for disability access and consideration for disabled people can be difficult to manage alone. If you find yourself lost trying to navigate college with a disability, are looking for a community of other disabled people who can relate to your experiences, or want to educate yourself and others, this organization is for you. Falcons for Disability may just be the club for you. Falcons for Disability Advocacy welcomes you with open arms, and in the words of President Curry, “No matter your disability status, you are welcome.”

Under the “Americans with Disabilities Act” of 1990 and Section 504 of the “Rehabilitation Act,” all public or private schools that receive federal funding are required to provide students living with disabilities reasonable accommodations to allow for academic study. Here at Fairmont State, our Office of Accessibility Services is here to link students with resources and help them find ways that work for them to pursue success in their adult life. With the appropriate documentation, Accessibility Services can help you get the assistance and permissions you need to succeed as a student with a disability. The main goal of the Office of Accessibility Services is to “provide leadership and facilitate equal access in all institutional opportunities for students who have disabilities, so that they may achieve their academic, personal, and professional goals.” If you are a student who needs any kind of accommodation or outside assistance to perform your best in your classes, the Office of Accessibility Services is here to help! To get started, visit office 303O in the Turley Center or call (304)-367-4584 anytime between Monday-Friday 8am-4pm, or email Abigail Franks at [email protected] or [email protected]. To learn more, visit https://www.fairmontstate.edu/student-services/accessibility/students/default.aspx

If you are interested in learning more about Falcons for Disability Advocacy, email President Kat Curry at [email protected] or Abigail Franks at [email protected]. Special thanks to Kat Curry, President of Falcons for Disability Advocacy, for interviewing with the COLUMNS to allow for the creation of this article.

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About the Contributor
Quinn Arzt
Quinn Arzt, Staff Reporter
Quinn Arzt is a 20-year-old Junior here at Fairmont State University. She is pursuing an Architecture degree while also working toward her History and Political Science minors. Quinn's favorite season is Autumn, and her favorite book is Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Quinn is a Residential Assistance (RA) here on campus, and also involved in multiple other organizations like the Honors Association, Fairmont State Catholic Student Union, Falcons with PRIDE, Falcons for Disability Advocacy, and more.
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