Last Tuesday, the Student Accessibility Services department hosted an Inclusive Recreation event at the Wellness and Recreation Sports Complex on the Edinburg campus.
The event was part of Accessibility Awareness Month. About 25 people participated in events that included blind rock-climbing, seated volleyball, blind corn hole toss and golfball.
The number of students registered at Student Accessibility Services on the Edinburg campus is 271 and 64 on the Brownsville campus.
Sefra Gonzalez, administrative assistant for the department, said the event aimed to show accessibility for everyone.
“Today, we’re really focusing on fitness and being able to help our students and showing that fitness is accessible to everybody and we really want to promote that,” Gonzalez said.
She explained the purpose of Accessibility Awareness Month and how the event wasn’t just intended for those with disabilities, but for everyone.
“When someone does hear disability, they tend to think of it as something negative and we’re promoting accessibility, not disability,” said Gonzalez, an employee of the Edinburg campus for three years. “Fitness is still very accessible to anyone who may have a disability.”
Rebecca Montanez, a criminal justice sophomore, explained how it felt to take part in the blind rock-climbing.
“My forearms are killing me, that’s all I got to say,” said Montanez, a rehabilitation services minor. “It was very difficult. I can’t believe blind people actually go through this, but I admire them so much.”
Spanish literature senior Jonathan Rodriguez described what he learned from the experience.
“They teach you a lot of things about people who can’t see, it’s a really interesting challenge … a really good experience for learning about other people [and] how blind people do a lot things that we can do, but we don’t,” Rodriguez said.
He said he was inspired by people who have disabilities and how they can do things that others choose not to do.
“They decided to not let their blindness decide who they are and I think it’s pretty cool, a pretty amazing experience to do [the activities],” Rodriguez said.
Accessibility Awareness Month activities are sponsored by Student Accessibility Services, the Dean of Students, Student Involvement and the Student Government Association.