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Education news and issues in the Ozarks.

Disability Studies, Universal Design Shed Light on Issues

Students walk through campus with guide dog

Some people are born into it. Those who are not, will likely enter it at one time or another. We're talking about the disability community and its unique challenges and value.

Katheryne Staeger-Wilson, director of the Disability Resource Center at Missouri State University, and Dr. Jamaine Abidogun, professor of history, explain the disability studies minor and what it brings to its students.

For community members and students alike, the courses get to the heart of inclusiveness and being mindful of everyone you encounter. Abidogun says she asks herself constantly, "Is this accessible?"

For students who are included in the disabled community, they have long been segregated into special education courses. There has been a movement in the last decade to integrate those students into the mainstream and making curricular (or resource) adaptations as needed. From there came the idea of universal design. Staeger-Wilson explains that the principle of universal design is to be proactive and plan for resources to be available without need for adaptation.

For more information on the disability studies minor, visit 

Nicki received a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Business Administration from Missouri State in marketing, in 2002 and 2004 respectively. After gaining experience in writing, marketing, special event planning, fundraising and public relations, she returned to the university to work in the office of strategic communication. There she tells the university’s story by sharing the stories of individuals at Missouri State.
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