Delta Alpha Pi pairs with StuGov, medical humanities for ‘Accessibility Week’

Delta Alpha Pi, Student Government and the medical humanities department are working together for Baylor's Accessibility Week. Graphic courtesy of Student Government

By Kassidy Tsikitas | Staff Writer

Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society has paired with Student Government and the medical humanities department to host Accessibility Week this week, hosting events throughout the week, including a movie night and Dr Pepper Hour.

Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society is an organization that represents high-achieving students with all disabilities. The Baylor chapter was chartered in the fall of 2022.

The Office of Access and Learned Accommodation (OALA) helps to provide accommodation for students with disabilities to help them better acclimate with everyday life.

“Accommodations can include any changes, modifications, equipment, or services requested by students because of their disability — that includes classroom, housing, meal plan or mobility needs,” the Office of Access and Learning Accommodation website states.

Katy junior Brenna Colihan, director of accessibility for Student Government and vice president of DAPi, said she strives to make sure all students with disabilities have more accommodations on campus.

Colihan said she hopes the events the organizations are hosting will offer more education about disabilities at Baylor and show why it’s important to accommodate people who need it.

“One in 10 students are registered with OALA. Doing this event with Student Government can help bring people together and move forward as a student body,” Colihan said. “I really feel like we can use this union to both of our advantages … while promoting accessibility for all.”

Colihan said transitioning to college is already a big step in life, but being disabled and independent can take longer to adjust to it. She said DAPi creates a safe environment for people who struggle with disabilities and forms a community around helping each other through the harder days.

“Having people who have at least the same shared experience is very helpful,” Colihan said.

Boston junior Ifeamaka Richardson, president of DAPi, said she is excited for the organization to grow on campus and further raise awareness within the Baylor community.

Richardson said the mascot for the honor society is a turtle, which stands for “slow and steady wins the race.”

“Most people in DAPi have very different accommodations,” Richardson said. “I’m learning about all different disabilities and how to be accessible to them.”

Growing up with a disability wasn’t easy, something Richardson said made her have self doubt. She said DAPi has created and established a sense of understanding where students learn and accommodate each other’s disabilities.

“It’s taking away a lot of shame. I always thought my brain worked differently. But, being in DAPi, we are proud of the adversity we all had to face,” Richardson said. “We don’t have to be ashamed.”

The honor society participates in community service throughout Baylor and Waco. In the spring of 2022, the club volunteered at a fair at a local Waco elementary school. To connect with each other, they host social events every semester and have a required number of events each member must attend.

Both Richardson and Colihan said they hope to see DAPi gain more recognition around campus and have people understand that attending college with a disability has its challenges, but all students can be successful.