International Day of Persons With Disabilities: AUC Celebrates Equity, Accessibility

Celebration for International Day of Persons with Disabilities

AUC held a celebration yesterday for International Day of Persons with Disabilities, observed officially on December 3 under the theme “Transformative Solutions for Inclusive Development.”

More than 300 students at AUC, or nearly 5% of the student population, have a disability. The University is one of the first in the Middle East that serves all types of disabilities, from physical and psychological to learning. 

“For me, AUC is the most accessible place in Egypt,” said Aya Ibrahim, a senior majoring in integrated marketing communications and minoring in Theatre, adding that the Student Disability Services Unit strongly supported her passion for theatre and sports throughout her undergraduate years.

During the celebration on campus, AUC students shared their experiences receiving support in and outside of the classroom at AUC while faculty and staff shared their success stories about supporting students with disabilities, in hopes that their experiences and wisdom could help inform and inspire others at the University.

“The event celebrates those who have made AUC a more accessible and equitable place,” said Alexandra Gazis, associate director of the SDS unit.

Faculty members and staff received certificates of appreciation for their work during the celebration. Gazis was especially grateful for the staff members from each department who often help connect the center with faculty members for training. “I call them our knights in this challenge to promote awareness and fight stigma,” she said.

The SDS unit facilitates training, webinars and one-to-one support for faculty members working to create more inclusive and accommodating learning environments. It also assists students with disabilities in receiving different types of accommodation, enabling them to perform as equals at the University.

“We are very proud that over the last 12 years, this unit has made students more aware of their rights and what services are available,” Gazis said. “Our unit is the backbone of support for students with disabilities on campus.”

Learn more about the SDS unit here.