Disability Awareness Resources RoomA group of students at Indiana University of Pennsylvania has created a place where fellow classmates with disabilities can find assistance.

The Disability Awareness Resources Room will open Monday, April 3, in 115A Davis Hall.

The team of William VanEmburg, Anne Hennessey, and Samantha Gisewhite have led the development of the center. They worked to secure funding through an award from the IUP Emerging Student Leader Grant program.

“The room will ideally be a multi-functional space offering resources and technology for individuals with and without disabilities on campus,” VanEmburg wrote in the grant application, “and having literature and other materials available for anyone who is interested in learning more about a variety of disabilities.”

Among the technology available in the room is the Scan and Read Pro, an application which scans text and creates an electronic file that can be transferred to a laptop or other device, and the LiveScribe pen, which connects to a device to allow hand-written notes to be accessed on electronic devices.

“It will act as a catalyst to remove negative stigmas that students with disabilities often have to combat on campus,” VanEmburg said.

Gisewhite said the plan is to apply for more grants to get even more items that could help students, including such things as instructional DVDs to teach sign language.

The lab will be open Mondays from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., Wednesdays from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. and 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and Fridays from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Gisewhite said the room is seeking volunteers to help work with students who stop by seeking help.

“It's important that all students have a safe place to do their work,” she said.