By Matt Nissen
Power2Act, a student-run disability advocacy group, met with Stanford administration this week to discuss their progress on plans to create a community center for students with disabilities on campus.
The group, led by co-presidents Zina Jawadi ’18 and Kartik Sawhney ’17, has been working with school administration since spring quarter of 2016. Power2Act has been in communication with the Office of Accessible Education (OAE), the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU), and Student Activities and Leadership (SAL) in order to secure a location for the center.
“We aim for a community center that provides resources for students with disabilities and their allies, that fosters more discussion about disability, and that offers a support system,” Jawadi said.
“One really crucial objective is to bridge this gap between people with disabilities and without disabilities, really to create that awareness on campus,” Sawhney said.
In a recent group meeting, Power2Act leadership expressed confidence about the progress made so far.
“I am more optimistic than ever about the disability community at Stanford,” Jawadi said.
The location of the temporary space has not yet been determined, but Power2Act’s goal is to secure a room by the end of the school year. This will then be used to gauge the interest of a community center for students of disability as an enduring fixture of campus life.
One of the major obstacles in creating a permanent space has been the fragmentary nature of the disability community on campus. To ensure a permanent location becomes a reality, sufficient interest must be shown regarding the temporary space.
“We will need a lot of help to roll people out [to the temporary space],” said Vice President Ana Sophia Mifsud ’17.
Power2Act leadership is confident that a community center for students with disabilities is necessary, and that the student body will benefit greatly from such a center.
“Physical space increases visibility and enhances discussion about topics and issues pertaining to a community,” Jawadi said.
Updates on the center will continue throughout the school year.