On Thursday, October 26, Woodland Community College Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSP & S) presented the “Festival For All” to raise awareness for students with disabilities.
The event included wheel chair races that featured an obstacle course and a relay, a Chi Gong breathing demonstration, pizza and community agencies in the student lounge and concluded with a tour of the DSP &S center.
The point of the festival was to increase Woodland Community College students’ general awareness of fellow students with disabilities on a year-round basis. The awareness day also aimed to educate the student population on the struggles that disabled people must endure in their daily lives.
As an example, the wheelchair obstacle course races demonstrated some of the barriers for students in wheelchairs. The course was set up in a way that replicated sudden movements, backing up into an elevator and demonstrated the overall difficulty it takes to use a wheelchair
Volunteers squared off in the races against disabled students but lost by wide margins to the disabled students who are accustomed to wheel chairs.
The event included several local community agencies that offered information on disabled student services, such as Guide Dogs for the Blind, the Yolo County American Red Cross Chapter, the Yolo County Elections-Voter Registration and many more.
The Yolo County Elections provided a disability voting machine, known as the Heart-eSlate Disabled Access Unit, assists people with disabilities the to vote.
According to County Clerk, Freddie Oakley, the machine’s framework consists of a computer that is divided into two parts. The first part is controlled by the poll worker and the voter controls the second part. The voters” choices are indicated by wheel that becomes illuminated. Voters that are visually impaired are given the choices through an audio recording.
The Marysville Campus started a festival four years prior to the Woodland Campus. Woodland had its first festival three years ago. Organizer Kay Gasson said they hope to hold the festival in the newly constructed LRC building next year, and hopes to have new events and more hands-on student activities.
Several WCC student clubs were on hand at the festival to promote student clubs and activities, including the Art Club, M.E.C.H.A, Black Awareness Club and the Business Club.
According to Gasson, the festival was a success. She noted that the response was high and the turnout from students and vendors continues to grow.
Gasson also suggests that there are plenty of opportunities for students to get involved with the festival, such as setting up booths, constructing programs, serving concessions and cleaning up.