Omar Reyes/Staff writer/@Salar0895
The LBCC Child Development Center learned about people with disabilities, when they received a visit from two disabled students at PCC Monday, May 23.
The two disabled students are Lindsay Kerr and Elise Berkley, members of Delta Alpha Pi, an honors society for disabled college students.
Kerr and Berkley explained to the group of young children about disabilities and introduced them to braille.
“I’ve notice that if we start teaching children early about disability, when they get older, they’ll have a better understanding of disabled people,” said Kerr, 20, an education major.
Kerr has been disabled since birth due to a condition known as hydrocephalus, which is water or fluid on the brain. She has had six brain surgeries, but her last surgery resulted in a loss of considerable amount of vision.
Despite this setback, Kerr is the president of Students For Equal Education, “A club dedicated to improving the conditions of disabled students at LBCC and everywhere else.”
Berkley, 51, a math major, is the president of Delta Alpha Pi. She has been blind since February 1995. She was diagnosed as diabetic at age 12 and started on dialysis treatment in 1994.
Berkley gets around with her guide dog, Becky, a 3-year-old yellow Labrador retriever. She has had Becky for a little over a year and obtained her from the Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Berkley said, “I’ve run into a lot of curious children asking questions of my disability so this would make it good to let children know.”
Berkley said she hopes to become a math teacher for blind students and said the May 23 visit would help her. “I really liked it because of the whole teaching aspect is really loved by me. Just to be able to show the kids something new is something I like. We also want to keep the acceptance and awareness of disabled people going.”
Katie Lampert, disability specialist for the TRiO Program and GO project and club adviser for Delta Alpha Pi, Kerr and Berkley volunteered to speak. It was a collective effort by the club to spread awareness of disability.
Lampert said, “For young kids, it’s easier for them to understand a disability of something they can see versus someone with a learning disability or something more invisible.
“I thought it was great. I’m so proud of these students. I’m glad they were able to volunteer and take time out of their day to do this.”
Kerr and Berkley visited and spoke to children at the LAC Child Development Center on Friday, May 20.