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Montgomery College Excalibur

The Student News Site of Montgomery College

Montgomery College Excalibur

The Student News Site of Montgomery College

Montgomery College Excalibur

Introducing Disability Student Union

President Margaret Stucky opening an online Disability Student Union meeting. (Photo credit, Simret Aleligne)

Revised on May 14 to correct the spelling, names, and positions of club officials. 

An MC student with a disability started the Disability Student Union at TPSS earlier this spring semester.   

DSU is a space for both disabled and non-disabled students and those who identify as disabled such as being chronically ill, neurodivergent, deaf, and other types of disabilities, said Margaret Stucky, President of the DSU. 

Stucky believes the issues surrounding accessibility and disability awareness started with not having wheelchair accessible restrooms. She has friends who have various disabilities and some of them have had to ask to get those doors open for them.  

Hanna Thatcher, Vice President of the DSU stated that the club’s mission is to be a social space and an advocacy arm for those in the disability community at MC.  

The Disability Student Union in a video call meeting. (Photo credit, Simret Aleligne)

 

“We want to make sure that we are not only advocating for physical disabilities but also for the neurodiverse community and those who have mental health conditions since people who have these can also identify as disabled or within the community,” Thatcher said.  

Stucky said she knows that she is different from those around her, so by forming this club, she has seen more students with disabilities come to the weekly meetings. However, some students are not able to attend in person and those can attend via Zoom and still can be a part of the club through Discord as well and can contribute in that way too.  

“Disability is always kept so hush-hush, and the only way to remove the stigma from it is to spread awareness.” Thatcher said. “Several places on campus are completely inaccessible because when the buildings/classrooms/labs were being made, someone with a disability wasn’t expected to be there. The unconscious ableism around construction is something that needs to be brought to everyone’s attention. We may be disabled, but we have the right to be in the same spaces as those who are able-bodied. 

Every Friday, the officers and members discuss topics such as disability representation and cerebral palsy awareness. Stucky feels that all the discussions have impacted the club members differently.  

Vice President Hanna Thatcher, President Margaret Stucky, and Secretary Tony Tran of the Disability Student Union posing for a picture. (Photo credit, Tristan Charles)

Stucky said sharing an experience and comparing it to others is so eye-opening, especially when having a meeting discussion that focuses on one specific disability,

Her favorite one is the discussion about cerebral palsy which she is passionate about and shared her personal experiences in living with the condition.  

Thatcher said there have been other discussions about issues surrounding the disability community such as misdiagnosis, physician incompetencies, and other issues that they as someone with a neurological and physically disabled person have dealt with.   

“Yes, I do have a disability, but it doesn’t define me,” Stucky said.  

Thatcher said they want their meetings to be a safe space to complain because sometimes people just need to complain to others who understand that their symptoms aren’t temporary.  

Stucky hopes that this club and program expands to every campus because we need to recognize that people with disabilities have a chance to live a normal life, but you just have to do it differently.  

 

 

 

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About the Contributors
Natalie Samara, Staff Writer
Simret Aleligne
Simret Aleligne, Photo Editor
Simret Aleligne joined The Excalibur as a photographer in the fall of 2023.
Tristan Charles, Photographer

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