Courtesy Photo / Foam Glow
Two students participate in a Glow Walk charity event like one to be hosted by CEC Oct. 14.
October is Down Syndrome awareness month, and one OBU student organization is participating by help- ing other students learn more.
Next Monday, Oct. 14 at 7:30, OBU’s chapter of Council for Exceptional Children will host a “Glow Walk” at OBU’s Oval parking lot, providing food and information about Down Syndrome and accepting donations that will benefit the Down Syndrome Association of Central Oklahoma (DSACO).
“At the Glow Walk, we will have representatives from DSACO that will be there to talk to students about what they do for the state of Oklahoma, there will be information around the [Oval] about Down Syndrome to be read as people walk around the [Oval], and there will be a donation jar for people to donate to DSACO,” CEC member Hannah Simmons said.
The event will include members of the Shawnee community as well as the OBU community.
“CEC will provide snacks and water,” Sim- mons said. “There is no a minimum or maxi- mum for how long you are to walk around the [Oval]. Come and stay as long as you can!”
There will be opportunities to learn abut Down Syndrome from experts and those who have it.
“We are inviting educators and people with Down Syndrome from the Shawnee area to come walk with us. Last year, we had al- most 10 people with Down Syndrome and their families join us!” said Simmons.
CEC gives students opportunities to help children with all kinds of disabilities.
“Council for Exceptional Children is a national organization that seeks to spread awareness about children with disabilities and promotes the advocacy of children with disabilities so that their needs are met,” Simmons said. “OBU has a chapter of this organization so that we may bring this same aware- ness and advocate to our campus.”
CEC at OBU seeks to raise money and aware- ness for children with multiple forms of dis- ability.
“Down Syndrome is not the only disability we strive to raise aware- ness for as we also at- tend the OKC Autism Piece Walk and raise money and awareness for Autism in April,” Simmons said.
Simmons explained the value of Down Syndrome awareness month and appreciating the perspectives of people who have the disability.
“Right now, CEC’s focus is Down Syndrome because October is Down Syndrome awareness month,” she said. “October is the month dedicated to raising awareness about Down Syndrome and the month to celebrate that people with Down Syndrome just see the world differently than people without it.”
The Glow Walk will benefit the Down Syndrome Association of Central Oklahoma (DSACO), an organization founded by parents of children with Down Syndrome in 2000.
According to the organization’s website, http://www.dsaco.org, “the purpose of the organization is aligned with its mission which is ‘raise awareness and provide resources, as well as promote acceptance and inclusion for people with Down syndrome’.”
The website pro- vides information about Down Syndrome and resources for families, and lists many events, classes, and sports opportunities they coordinate.
“We are raising money for them [DSACO] so that they can continue to provide resources to those with Down Syndrome,” Simmons said.
The website includes a donations page, but other ways to give are also available.
“If you are not able to attend the glow walk but you want to donate to DSACO, just let a CEC member know and we can get you set up with a representative from their office,” Simmons said.
Simmons invited anyone interested in CEC and their mission to contact the organization’s leaders to learn more.
“If anyone would like to know more about what CEC does and who we are, our faculty advisor is Professor Elizabeth Justice and this year’s CEC President is Emily Justice,” she said. “Don’t hesitate to email either to find out how you can be involved in CEC!”
You can email CEC’s faculty advisor Professor Elizabeth Justice at firstname.lastname@example.org or CEC president Emily Justice at email@example.com