CWU offering Accessibility Studies as first program of its kind in country

CWU offering Accessibility Studies as first program of its kind in country

ELLENSBURG, Wash. - Central Washington University (CWU) is offering a program dedicated to increasing awareness for accessibility issues.

"I will be the first person to sign up for the course," said senior Humberto Avila.

Avila couldn't wait to be a part of CWU's new Accessibility Studies Program.

The Special Education major, who's been blind since birth, is part of the inspiration behind the program's development as a former student of the program's lead professor Naomi Petersen.

"In order to make the teaching accessible I realized we needed an accessibility program because everybody needs this in almost profession," she said.

About 30 degree programs at CWU have Accessibility Studies as a minor option.

Courses focus on different topics like civil rights advocacy and designing information to be accessible for everyone.

Avila is proud not only to learn about these issues but also be an advocate for disabled people.

"I really want to give feedback on it from an actual person that is dealing with or has dealt with accessibility issues from the get go," he said.

"With 20-percent of the population having disabilities it's hard for somebody not to have been personally involved," Petersen said.

She adds those with disabilities have been underestimated in society but this program should help change that perception.

"You're better off having smart people engaged in solving society's problems rather than forcing people to become a burden on society and that's been a problem," said Petersen.

Accessibility Studies is still in it's infancy, but Avila says it's potential extends far beyond what goes on on campus.

"I know that CWU is going to increase more accessibility awareness by doing this program. I'm very happy about this program," he said.

CWU is offering a 10-week certificate in accessibility studies that'll start in June.

if you're interested in signing up, click here.

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