Amelia Kunko (firstname.lastname@example.org)
UC Possibilities is a new student group on campus that aims to bring awareness and understanding to invisible disabilities. “In a quick summary, UC Possibilities is meant to be a student-led group where students are being really intentional, whether that be through social media, events on campus, or other, to break stigma around disability and increase awareness,” explained Dee Singley, Director of Disability Services at Ursinus College.
The word “disability” can be applied to visible or apparent disabilities, but the term also covers those disabilities that are not visible. “When we refer to invisible disabilities, it would be those situations that aren’t necessarily apparent or seen or understood in that way.” Hidden disabilities can include diagnoses like anxiety, depression, ADHD, medical conditions, and more. Students with hidden disabilities are considered to be an underrepresented group on campus.
“I think it’s really important to have an advocacy group like UC Possibilities at Ursinus. We want to be sure that we as a community are creating a culture of inclusiveness, that we’re creating a culture where students with disabilities feel welcomed and that they truly feel included,” added Singley. A goal of UC Possibilities is to bring together members of the campus community to create awareness, understanding, and empowerment. “I do think it plays a big part to have such a group like UC Possibilities because it can be a way that we as a community are intentional about creating awareness and creating those empowering environments.”
UC Possibilities has several goals and events planned for this fall semester, including gaining recognition as an official group on campus. “Our first charge actually will be to become an official student group, so we are going to be doing an application through the Student Government Association to be recognized as an official student group.” In addition, UC Possibilities plans to provide Ursinus with the chance to hear from students about their own experiences with hidden disabilities. “One of our first awareness activities will be to release those videos. We’ll be releasing those videos to the campus community within the next month on social media and through our website to begin the conversation about invisible disabilities on our college campus.” UC Possibilities hopes to give students the opportunity to feel heard when it comes to voicing their experiences with invisible disabilities. “I think having a student-led group like UC Possibilities really will lend itself to giving students a voice, hopefully in a way that helps them to feel empowered,” concluded Singley. If you would like to learn more about UC Possibilities or are interested in joining the group, email Dee Singley at email@example.com.