The UT Campus Disability Advocates, a group committed to creating a safe environment for students with disabilities, will host an informational meeting today at 7:15 p.m. in HSS room 58.
"We want to educate the campus about what it means to have a disability and work to solve physical and attitudinal issues UT sometimes has," said Lindsay Lee, president and founder of the Campus Disability Advocates.
Lee, senior in math and Spanish, started the organization in the spring of 2012 when she saw there was not a group on campus specifically for students with disabilities.
"UT needed a forum for students with disabilities to get together and talk about problems and find ways to solve them," Lee said.
For the past two years, the CDA has hosted a Disability Week in the fall with a variety of programming, all of which is aimed at educating the campus and student body about disability and creating better understanding of what having a disability entails.
Allison Gose, senior in history and political science currently serving as the vice president of Campus Disability Advocates, said she has "been amazed by the growth and accomplishments of the club since it was founded in spring of 2012."
In years past, the Disability Week has included programming such as a movie screening, a forum, a portrait exhibit of individuals with disabilities on and around campus, and an art show.
According to the Campus Disability Advocates website, the organization "seeks to educate the campus about disability issues, advocate on behalf of people with disabilities, and promote equal respect."
This year, the group will host the second annual Disability Issues and Advocacy Conference on Feb. 27 and 28. The conference will include presentations from a wide range of disability scholars and advocates from all around the country.
"We also have worked with campus administrators to analyze physical accessibility on campus and to start a Disability Task Force out of Vice Chancellor (for Diversity) Rickey Hall's office," Lee said.
Today's meeting will focus on a general overview of the group and its programming as well as a trivia section – including prizes and pizza – and will serve as an "open book" into learning all about the advocates.
Membership is open to all students, with or without disabilities.
"Our work will only become more successful as we gain a greater diversity of perspectives," Gose said. "I would encourage anyone interested in participating to come to the meetings."
To learn more about the Campus Disability Advocates, visit utkcda.com.