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Georgian Court is conducting in-person classes as scheduled. Following CDC guidance, face coverings are required indoors and health precautions are in place in terms of cleaning and ventilation. Beginning in the Fall 2021 semester, COVID-19 vaccinations will be required for resident students before check-in and all other students are required to be vaccinated by October 1, 2021. All faculty and staff are strongly advised to get vaccinated.

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University News

GCU’s Disability Awareness Panel Focuses on Experiences of Students With Different Abilities

Respect core value sign

People living with disabilities want to be seen and heard just like anyone else, according to several Georgian Court University students who spoke candidly at a recent Disability Awareness Month event.

An October 5 panel discussion, hosted by GCU’s Academic Development & Support Center (ADSC), included students with disabilities such as autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, hearing impairments, cerebral palsy, and more. The group shared personal experiences and shared insight for their peers and university professionals:

  • When writing or speaking about people with disabilities, put the person first. Focus on the person, not the disability. For example, the “person is blind,” the “child who is deaf,” the “individual with a disability.” Always choose words that reflect individuality, equality, and dignity.
  • Refer to people as having different abilities, especially since there is no state of normal, in general. One panelist pointed out that they had been living with a disability all their life and didn’t know any other way of being.
  • Don’t judge a book by its cover, especially when it comes to invisible disabilities and illnesses.

The college students also answered questions relating to COVID-19 and the additional challenges posed by the pandemic. A student who is hard of hearing couldn’t read lips because of masks and found that some people spoke softer when wearing a mask—problems that made the student feel a loss of human connection.

In addition, a student with ADHD found online learning and studying at home was too distracting. Instead, they learned better when face to face with faculty.

A few panelists added that they struggle with social skills, which presents a challenge on a college campus. But social interactions don’t have to be difficult. Instead, they offered familiar words of advice to their peers: be respectful and patient, accept people for who they are, and treat others how you would like to be treated.

Story contributed by Georgian Court University digital communication major Alycia Bardon ’22

Aerial view of GCU.

About Georgian Court University

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. GCU is a comprehensive, coeducational university with a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women. As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, GCU is known for expanding possibility for more than 2,200 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. The GCU Lions compete in 14 NCAA Division II sports in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). In 2020, GCU was named a Best Value College by and a Best Bang for the Buck (Northeast) by Washington Monthly. High student retention and graduation rates also make GCU a Top Performer on Social Mobility on U.S. News & World Reports rankings. The main campus is located in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students at other locations, such as GCU at HazletGCU at Rowan College of South Jersey–Cumberland Campus, and through multiple online certificate and degree programs.

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