FAMU’s disabled student center to celebrate top achievers

The Florida A&M Center for Disability Access and Resources, also known as CeDAR, will host CeDAR Honors today in celebration of Disability Awareness Month.

The event is an annual recognition ceremony for individuals and groups from FAMU and the surrounding communities for their various accomplishments.

The reception begins at 5:15 p.m. and the program will start at 6 p.m. at the School of Architecture’s atrium.

Kevin Williams, a FAMU alumnus and CeDAR participant, will share his research on African-American students with disabilities during the ceremony.

“This is our fourth annual CeDAR Honors award ceremony to empower students,” CeDAR Director Danette Saylor said. “We want to recognize those that support our mission.”

According to the university’s website, CeDAR provides services and accommodations for FAMU students with disabilities.

As an advocate for students with disabilities, CeDAR collaborates with faculty, staff and community partners to provide for the unique needs of students in and out of the classroom.

Saylor said the program encourages students who think they may have a disability to visit the office.

“Don’t be embarrassed, be empowered,” Saylor said. “Embrace who you are. Every student will not have the same disability. The greatest sign of strength is admitting that you need help.”

The number of students with disabilities attending college has increased, according to a study conducted by the University of Washington.

Learning disabilities, mobility or orthopedic impairments and health impairments are some examples of disabilities that students might face.

“Usually at a historically black college or university, the stigma of being labeled as ‘disabled’ creates fear in some students,” Saylor said.

CeDAR offers tuition assistance, book stipends, medical and psycho-educational evaluations and job training to students in the program.

Adetosoye Oladokun, a physical therapy graduate student from Washington, said the CeDAR program has helped him during his academic career at FAMU.

“During my undergraduate studies, CeDar provided tutors to assist me with my classwork,” Oladokun said. “I learned the correct way to study and helpful tools of learning. The habits that I have learned has helped me during my graduate studies.”

Sherita Joe, a sophomore biology student from Atlanta, said CeDAR has been a helpful resource for her academic success.

“This program has helped me improve my grades by providing additional assistance in and out of the classroom setting,” Joe said. “For any students who need additional help, I would definitely recommend using the program to your academic advantage.”