SPRINGFIELD — American International College (AIC) Disability Services and the Delta Chi Chapter of Delta Alpha Pi, an international honor society for students with disabilities, are hosting an event on the AIC campus today, April 11, to raise awareness about disabilities, particularly mental-health disabilities, which are often invisible. The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at the Quadrangle at AIC.
Students with disabilities have been reluctant to identify themselves publicly because of negative stereotyping associated with disability. The Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society will present an opportunity to change the perception of students with disabilities, recognizing them for their academic accomplishments. The honor society facilitates the development of skills in leadership, advocacy, and education.
Informational posters, created by members of the honor society, will be on display and include disabilities such as anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, dyslexia, and physical disabilities such as blindness.
In addition, certified pet therapy dog Woody Lash, who visits campus particularly to benefit students in disability services and supportive learning services during mid-term and final exams, will be part of the event. The use of therapy animals in colleges and universities has become increasingly popular in recent years, serving as non-judgmental companions in the process of learning and development. Therapy animals are used in a variety of healthcare and educational situations and settings to provide comfort, affection, stress relief, and joy.