Mind your own

I am a NIU student with a disability. I am not in need of, nor do I use Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) by personal choice as I have been independent for a long time. My daughter and many of her friends are NIU students with disabilities, however, and they do use these services, not as “conveniences” but as “necessities.” A student in a wheelchair who needs medicine or food is not independent if they have their supplies delivered to the dorm – that’s why they use the Freedommobile to get to the store and shop for themselves. A student who is visually impaired cannot work as quickly in the classroom taking a test as his/her non-disabled peer—that’s why they take their tests at services with special equipment and extended time.

I have had numerous opportunities to deal with Linn Sorge and Sue Reinhart, and I applaud their efforts. They do not coddle these students. They assist them to have equal opportunities for accessibility, mobility and success as all other NIU students by providing services that allow them to experience some degree of independence.

While I have never met Cary Supalo, I believe if Cary does not want or need to use SSD, that is his right and he should be commended for being able to manage with such a high degree of independence. However, that does not give Cary the right to force his beliefs of the radical beliefs of the NFB on the rest of the NIU students with disabilities, or to try ruining the reputation of Services.

Independence means to ‘not be in need of support or assistance by others’. If Cary insists he is so independent, perhaps he should return the many thousands of dollars in free assertive technology equipment he has just received from the Illinois Department of Rehabilitation Services for assistance with his education.

Cary, worry about your studies and your future. Leave the rest of us to deal with ours in our own way.

Carol Eustace

Graduate Student

Special Education