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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Student group to hold panel on disabilities

To shed light on some of the day-to-day challenges of living with a disability, Insightful Connections is holding a student panel Wednesday.
Insightful Connections is a student organization, primarily made up of students with visual impairments. While the group often hosts panels to give students perspective to what it’s like to live with a visual impairment, this time the group wanted to expand the discussion to include students who have physically-apparent disabilities as well. 
“They thought, ‘Wow wouldn’t it be great to do something a little wider range of interest and they wanted to specifically focus on students with apparent disabilities, or visible disabilities where potentially students may stereotype, or have misconceptions just because of how somebody may look or perceive what their disability is,’” Tracey Forman, a staff member at the Disability Services Office, advisor to the group and moderator of Wednesday’s panel said.
Forman said the makeup of the panel will consist of two students with some degree of a visual impairment and three students with a physically-apparent disability. She said the idea was to create a safe environment where students could feel comfortable asking students with disabilities what their life was like, and how they should — or shouldn’t — help.
“We really want the audience to be able to participate,” Forman said. “The idea is to identify what some of those barriers are that people with apparent disabilities specifically face because they just can’t step away from their disability.”
The panelists will have a chance to identify some of the challenges of living with a physically-apparent disability are. 
“We want people to … clarify what some of those misconceptions are, some of the experiences they’ve had are — the good the bad and the ugly — and to have them explain how they would want people to interact with them,” Forman said. “Also, what’s appropriate to say or not say, when you should help them and when you shouldn’t help.” 
The panel will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will last until 6:30 p.m. in Rudder 404.

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