Abilities Expo to feature simulations, open forums

Photo of an able-bodied student walking blindfolded with a blind person's walking stick.

The Abilities Expo features a series of disability simulations to give attendees a chance to learn about the realities of living with a disability.

Using creativity to overcome adversity posed by physical and mental obstacles will be the focus of the second Annual Abilities Expo at Wright State University.

“This year’s Expo will focus on the notion that just because an everyday task is hard for some people, there are many ways you can accomplish that task,” said Megan Goettemoeller, an organizer for the Abilities Expo.

“That is a strength and not a weakness,” she said.

The Abilities Expo will be held March 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Apollo and Endeavor Rooms. Registration is not required and a lunch will be served around noon with snacks served throughout the day.

The event will feature a series of disability simulations to give attendees a chance to learn about the realities of living with a disability. Participants can navigate their way through a maze of cones in a power chair or with blindness-simulating glasses. Along with a number of other activities and simulations, there will be several open forums throughout the day to discuss issues that people with different abilities face.

Goettemoeller wants all attendees to leave with a greater understanding of the realities those with different abilities face on a daily basis. The Abilities Expo will show that in spite of physical or mental adversity, any feat can be conquered with a little creativity.

“We will have questions that will spark thoughts and discussion for everyone that comes through this event of diversity and opportunity,” said Goettemoeller.

Angela Bonza from the Office of Disability Services believes the upcoming Abilities Expo will be education for all who attend.

“People will walk away with an understanding that people with disabilities are really no different from people without disabilities,” said Bonza. “The former is often depicted as ‘victims’ of circumstance or ‘heroic’ for doing ordinary things, and these are viewpoints that are not at all accurate.”

“We are all the same on the inside,” said Bonza.

The Expo is hosted by Abilities United, an organization that aims to provide resources for students to strengthen advocacy and unity among students of all abilities.

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