The Disability Cultural Center is the first of its kind in the United States to be housed within a student affairs organization, rather than a disability services office; it is also the first to be run by a full-time professional staff member. Syracuse's Disability Cultural Center has a purpose that is parallel to other cultural centers on campus, including the LGBT Resource Center, the Center for International Services, and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.
The Disability Cultural Center will work to:
- Establish and celebrate a community that fosters pride in one’s identity and creates a culture of inclusion.
- Build a community that values the capabilities of all people and recognizes that all individuals have the potential to excel and contribute to the academic and social environment at Syracuse University and beyond.
- Serve as a meeting place for students, faculty, staff, and others who seek a safe environment in which all individuals are welcomed, respected, and included as full and equal members, within both the university and global communities.
- Serve as a catalyst for and a sponsor of a variety of essential programs, inside and outside of the classroom. The programs will heighten awareness and understanding, as well as promote dialogue and learning about disability rights as human rights. Programs will therefore emphasize that disability rights are expressions and forms of cultural diversity.
- Create programming that emphasizes but is not limited to advancing the civic, economic, and social participation of persons with disabilities in a global society.
- Serve as a resource for sharing information on media, periodicals and other readings, websites, services, advocacy groups, and local, regional, national, and international organizations that focus on disability issues, including the history of disability, pedagogy and disability, and disability culture.
- Work collaboratively with other campus organizations and offices that celebrate difference.
Diane R. Wiener, Ph.D., L.M.S.W.
Director, Disability Cultural Center