A group of students at Indiana University of
Pennsylvania has created a place where fellow classmates with disabilities can
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
“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
“It will act as a catalyst to remove negative
stigmas that students with disabilities often have to combat on campus,” VanEmburg
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.