Cedar Crest College newspaper since 1923
By Paula Wesson
Last month, I told you that suicide is an issue that needs to be talked about more. Another issue we don’t talk about is disabilities.
In fact, when I tried to interview students about disabilities, nearly everyone declined to comment. Those students who have disabilities don’t want others to know.
But October has been named Disability Awareness Month because others need to know. If we don’t talk about them, they don’t seem to exist.
Although the term disability may bring to mind images wheelchairs or guide dogs, there are many disabilities that are not visible.
Cedar Crest College provides disability services to any “person who has or is regarded as having any mental or physical condition that substantially impairs or restricts one or more major life activities”. This includes learning disabilities, like dyslexia; difficulty concentrating, such as Attention Deficit Disorder; or emotional impairment, like panic attacks.
Many students with disabilities are able to maintain high grades despite their impairments.
Becca Pyontek, a sophomore Criminal Justice major with a business minor, said having hearing aids did not impact her education. “I understood. I learned. I graduated [high school] with a 3.5 GPA.”
Some students need assistance from the school in order to succeed in their classes.
Lauren Nocheck, a senior writing and art double major, takes tests outside of the classroom to lessen test-anxiety. Nocheck said, “The school does a really good job of handling my anxiety disorder. They let me go and take a test down in Academic Services where I can get up and walk around.”
Test-taking accommodations such as extended time or a private room are available only to students who provide documentation of their disability.
Tutors, however, are available to all students regardless of ability. Request a tutor or access online tutoring via My.CedarCrest.edu.