Whitman honors disabilities

For the Director of the Whitman Center, Sandy Kosmyna, the month of September is more than heading back to school and the beginning of fall.

September is disability awareness month at the Whitman Center.

“I’m on the diversity committee,” Kosmyna said. “We picked disability awareness because it’s a diversity issue that has never had much attention at the college.”

The Whitman Center will host an exhibit called “From Institutions to Independence” which will be on display Sept. 1 through 30.

According to the Fall 2009 Enrichment Events pamphlet from the Whitman Center, the exhibit allows people to “explore the history of organizations and institutions that provided services to disabled people.”

“There are pictures of old institutions where they pretty much warehoused people with mental illnesses,” Kosmyna said.

The display shows just how much work it took to improve the lives of people with disabilities.

The display comes from the Ward M. Canaday Center at the University of Toledo.

In addition to the display, the Whitman Center is also hosting a speaker, Barbara Floyd, from the University of Toledo, on Thursday, Sept. 17. The free event will take place between 7:00 and 8:00 p.m. in Room Three.

Floyd will “examine how our community has treated people with disabilities throughout history,” according to the pamphlet.

She will cover the mentally ill, the vision and hearing impaired, the physically disabled, and the developmentally disabled.

The entire month of September the Whitman Center will be turning its focus to disability awareness.

“People should come [to these events] to learn more about disabilities and the struggles and accomplishments we’ve made over the last century,” Kosmyna said. “[It shows] how things have evolved to this point.”