October Is Disability in Action Month at DCTC

Educational Access and Disability Resources, Unified Club, and Student Life hosting series of events

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). This year’s theme is “Advancing Access and Equity.” Educational Access and Disability Resources, Unified Club, and Student Life are celebrating Disability in Action Month by hosting a series of events on the Dakota County Technical College campus in Rosemount, Minnesota. The Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice, and Belonging and Student Affairs are also supporting Disability in Action Month.

Melissa Fletcher

“On many college campuses NDEAM is the month where disability-events are implemented even if employment is not the main focus,” said Melissa Fletcher, educational access and disability resources director. “Disability in Action Month serves as collective call for our campus to be and do.”

Melissa added that the Disability in Action Month concept was initiated by students in March 2022 as a campus event designed to establish space for any DCTC student, staff member, or faculty member with a disability to think collectively about what can be done next to advance access and equity at the college.

“These events are student led, created, and imagined,” Melissa said. “I see Disability in Action proudly not only as a first of its kind, but also as a real invitation for every body and mind on campus to share in fun and learning.”

Maggie Laurel

Maggie Laurel, learning technology support specialist, and Erin Manthey, mathematics faculty, are co-advisors for Unified Club on campus.

“Unified Club is ‘dedicated to empowering students with disabilities and their allies to promote social justice, develop meaningful relationships, and ensure all students feel welcomed and included at DCTC,'” Maggie reported. “We meet every other Monday from 1 p.m. to  2 p.m. in the Cultural Center, Room 1-300. All students are welcome!”

Maggie noted that students in Unified Club have been very passionate about Disability in Action Month events.

Anna Voight

“Students have guided the whole planning process—and really directed the event in terms of what they would like to see,” Maggie said. “Students have come up with the name for the events, created posters, are volunteering their time, and some will even be featured during our panel! We’re really excited for the month, and the growth of Unified Club and inclusion at DCTC.”

Anna Voight, student life associate director, is happy to be part of the month-long event. “Student Life is grateful for the opportunity to support Disability in Action Month,” Anna said. “My hope is the activities planned help those in the disability community—students and employees—know they are seen, heard, valued, and are irreplaceable members of our campus community.”

Disability in Action Month at DCTC SCHEDULE

WHAT: Display in the DCTC Library: National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)
WHEN: October 7 – October 31, 2023
WHAT: FACULTY FOCUSED: Intro to Universal Design for Learning
Faculty-only event; signup required: SIGN UP HERE
WHEN: Wednesday, October 11, 2023 • Noon – 12:30 p.m.
WHERE: Virtual on Zoom
WHAT: Sensory Friendly Puzzles and Pizza Event
WHEN: Thursday, October 12, 2023 • 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
WHERE: Student Life Center and Central Commons
WHAT: Progress Through Inclusion: Disabilities and Professional Achievement (Panel Event)
WHEN: Thursday, October 26, 2023 • 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
WHERE: Dakota Room w/Virtual Option
WHAT: Crip Camp Movie Showing
WHEN: Monday, October 30, 2023 • 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
WHERE: Dakota Room

Learn more about Disability in Action Month at DCTC by contacting:

Melissa Fletcher, MA
Educational Access and Disability Resources Director
Dakota County Technical College
MN Relay 7-1-1

Maggie Laurel
Learning Technology Support Specialist
Unified Club Co-Advisor
Dakota County Technical College

Student Life Associate Director
Dakota County Technical College