IDEA, a new student club on campus, has invited Gregory Hannah, Assistant Director for Disability Services at Villanova University, to speak on Wednesday, November 15 from 7 pm – 9 pm in the ETC Auditorium.
Hannah will present about disabilities and accommodations to help bridge the gap amongst the student body. Hannah was a major contributor for the award-winning documentary, “Coming Off the DL.” His work has also appeared on ESPN, ABC, CBS, NBC, The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and other local publications.
“I met Greg my senior year of high school while touring Villanova's campus,” said Caitlyn Connelly, President of IDEA. “I was very impressed with the atmosphere and think Greg plays a big part. Greg advises Villanova's student group LEVEL, which aims to level the playing field between students with and without disabilities. Greg is a great speaker and his enthusiasm and love is contagious. I believe that hearing him speak and seeing the work he has done will hopefully finally open eyes for this campus.”
Connelly, who has cerebral palsy and relies on her wheelchair to get around and her iPad to communicate, is hoping to raise awareness about disabled students at Holy Family, specifically how they’re no different than anybody else.
“I am more than my wheelchair and my disability, but I certainly did not feel that way when I came here,” she said. “I really struggled to connect with other students. It has gotten a little better, but there is so much more to be done to make HFU a more inclusive and accepting place for all. Students with disabilities may need to do some things differently, but we are here and want to be included. Whether it’s just a simple ‘Hi!’ or an invite to an event, that simple interaction can open up a whole new world of growth, friendship, and opportunities.”
IDEA was formed as a place for individuals within the Holy Family University community to gather and share ideas on how to make HFU a more accepting and positive place to learn in a holistic fashion. The group’s goal is to eradicate stereotypes and assumptions leading to discomfort within the Holy Family University community, increase socialization between students of all abilities, and serve as a supporting and accepting environment.
IDEA will be having its final fall semester meeting on Wednesday, November 29 during the common hour in ETC 112. All are invited to help plan fun and inclusive activities for the spring semester.