From the beginning of the semester, I have a better understanding of “disability”. Previously, I was ignorant to many of the topics discussed over the course of the semester. I didn’t know what ableism was, didn’t know of the many different ways disability is portrayed in the media, and did not know what laws were in place to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities. I didn’t participate in LEVEL before this course and I wish I became involved in it earlier, especially because I am a graduating senior. All these things have caused my view of disability to change since I am now more aware. Courses like this will help spread awareness to people who may not be as knowledgeable about what disability is, what it entails, and what individuals with disabilities face.
This course and my involvement in LEVEL challenged my comfort zone , which helped me learn and grow. I was always afraid of and hyperaware of saying the right thing. At first I wasn’t sure what to say or do, but as the weeks progressed, I realized to just be yourself. One shouldn’t ignore or pretend a disability isn’t there but at the same time it shouldn’t be the forefront of who a person is. Individuals with disabilities are more alike to people without disabilities, it is just the societal perceptions that make it seem like there are such differences to begin with. Everyone has differences to make them who they are – disability is just one of them.
I believe that disability can be integrated into other teaching curriculum in other departments. Different aspects of the course, such as disability in the media, could be integrated into the communications department. Disability law can also be beneficial to individuals who may be thinking of Law school for the future. Disability in Sports can be another course, where the different sports those with disabilities participate in will be explored (such as in Murderball). I believe there are an endless array of opportunities to incorporate disability studies into other areas and other disciplines. If I had more time here at Nova, I would have loved to enroll in other disability related courses. I have learned so much and have met such amazing people from my involvement in LEVEL over this semester. I am so happy I decided to enroll in this course!