Disability Awareness Week (DAW) Kick-Off Success!

Student Disability Services (SDS) would like to thank everyone who came to our kick-off event in support of disability awareness week! It was a huge success with a great turnout…and cake, lots of cake! Additionally, thank you to Dr. Juan Muñoz and Dr. Larry Phillippe for their time and thoughtful speeches.

Here are some of the special moments and quotes that really stuck out to us in the SDS office:

Dr. Juan Muñoz, Senior Vice President & Vice Provost, spoke about Texas Tech being a progressive and inclusive university whose “goal is to make sure students succeed.”  He stated that “more and more students are coming to this university that need support…this makes us aware of the kinds of services, resources, programs, and activities that we can provide to make sure students succeed.”

Dr. Juan Muñoz gives a presentation at a podium with sign language interpreter, James Whitfield, standing next to him to make the speech accessible.

Dr. Larry Phillippe, Program Director of SDS and the TECHniques Center, spoke about the effects of the ADA on our culture. He explained that even though “technology standards are making programs and services available to individuals with disabilities as never before”, technology was also directly influenced by the ADA.  For instance, texting was developed as an accommodation for those with hearing impairments.  Dr. Phillippe added that “because of the need to make things accessible to all Americans under the guidance of ADA, we developed technology and innovations that benefit people with disabilities, but greatly benefit all of us.”

Dr. Larry Phillippe stands at a podium and speaks into a lapel microphone so that the remote captionist can transcribe the speech. The live captions are projected onto the screen next to him and are accompanied by a  simultaneous  sign language interpretation.

Dr. Phillippe also commented on the importance of continuing to advocate for those with disabilities, for there is still much left to accomplish in the future.  “Great strides are achieved for students with disabilities at Texas Tech because of the ADA.  However, this is not only a time for seeing how far we have come as a society and a university.  This is a time to focus and to look where we head in the future to build a society and university truly inclusive of all people.  That is the celebration of 25 years of the ADA.”

Students, faculty and staff gather around to listen to the kick-off speeches in the Welcome Center.

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