#BDGU online conversation to bring awareness to disabled community at Georgetown
A tweet from Chris DeLorenzo reads, “T-minus 12 hours until we remind the Georgetown community that disabled people exist. #BDGU”
Following hashtags that discussed being black, Latino, and Asian at Georgetown, Lydia Brown (COL ’15), a disability rights activist, and several other students have organized an online conversation and protest from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. to discuss experiences in the disabled community at Georgetown.
“Representing a significant percentage of all students, we have learning disabilities, are on the autism spectrum, have cerebral palsy, use wheelchairs or scooters, have mental health disabilities/mental illness, are blind or low vision, are d/Deaf or hard of hearing, and are chronically ill,” the Facebook event said, giving a sample (not a complete list) of disabilities students face.
The protest welcomes both positive and negative experiences from any member of the Georgetown community using #BDGU (Being Disabled at Georgetown University). The goals of this protest include making visible the experiences of this community, increasing the visibility of and solidarity within the community, and engaging other students and faculty in a productive discourse.
The creators of the event also hope to increase representation of the disabled community at Georgetown. The lack of representation among faculty, course offerings in disability studies, and resources and institutional support are listed as some of the problems leading to inadequate representation.
A specific goal that Brown has in regards to representation is the creation of a Disability Cultural Center on campus.
“There a are many disability cultures, including Autistic culture, little people culture, and Deaf culture,” she told Vox. “Since the dominant paradigm of disability is that disability is an individual medical problem that the disabled person has a moral imperative to overcome, it makes sense that the idea of disability as culture had rarely made its way to front and center. I hope to change that.”
Brown said the center would serve the disability community in the same way the the LGBTQ Center serves its community, for example.
Follow the jump to read the #BDGU conversation on Twitter.