Always a help

As a student with a physical disability, I am writing to express my complete support for the NIU Office of Services for Students with Disabilities. Recently, the office has come under attack by freshman Cary Supalo, a blind student, who has accused it of offering unnecessary programs and interfering in the lives of NIU students with disabilities. Mr. Supalo seems to suggest the office fosters the dependence of its student clients by giving them help they don’t need. This argument is not only wrong; it’s completely absurd.

As both an undergraduate and graduate student at NIU, I have been a client of Services for Students with Disabilities for many years. They’ve helped me with my housing and some of my testing needs. I can say confidently, however, that they have never given me help that I didn’t ask for or, in fact, need. Without them, I could not comfortably live or function on this campus. I’ve also known many other students with physical disabilities who couldn’t have made it at NIU without a lot of assistance from the office. Sometimes you have to accept help to be truly independent.

I think it’s admirable that Mr. Supalo wants to do things on his own. After all, that’s the ultimate goal of all people with disabilities. However, just because he subscribes to a certain philosophy, doesn’t necessarily give him the right to indict a program which has helped hundreds of students for years.

Mark Indreika

Graduate Student