On Tuesday, October 7th, the Merchandise Planning and Control class was visited by a unique guest speaker. Shelley Falitico, the Director of Development from the Genesee Arc, came in to talk to the fashion students about people with disabilities. Ms. Falitico discussed how disabilities can be mental, physical, or developmental. She also stated that 10% of the people around us are disabled in some way.
During the workshop, students did activities to get a real idea of what it felt like to have a disability. Students experienced how it felt to be not have vision by wearing blindfolds throughout the hour long presentation. Other students were given masks to place over their mouths, because they lost their voices and could not talk. One student was asked to sit in a wheelchair, with her dominant arm tied down. She was told the lower half of her body was paralyzed, and she had no movement in her right arm, but she needed to complete a task of handing out papers to every student in the class with her disability. Another student had her legs tied together above the knees, and was asked to run to the back of the classroom. This was to demonstrate how someone with Cerebral Palsy might walk.
All of these exercises made the students realize how people with disabilities have to live their everyday lives. At the end of the class, the students could stand up, untie their legs, and take off their blindfolds, but someone with a real disability can not. Some people are born with a disability, others can be acquired over time. It is important for everyone to learn about disabilities and how to deal with people who have them because anyone at anytime could become disabled.