The following was received April 27 with a request if we’d be willing to consider printing. 

Dear Umpqua Community College Staff and Students,

It’s surely no secret that our campus and the nation as a whole is going through a very difficult time currently, and while our world is full of negativity and darkness, there are still a good many things that deserve to be celebrated. Many of you may not know that the month of April is also national Autism Awareness month, and while the entire world as we know it seems to be crumbling beneath our feet, those with Autism Spectrum Disorder are powerful and deserve to be celebrated and uplifted. In my personal experience, although admittedly I do not have any form of autism (but rather a disability called Arthrogryposis), I have found that those of us with physical or mental disabilities are often looked down upon, chastised and otherwise made fun of for some thing that we have no way of controlling. No individual should be put down for the way they look, behave, speak, or otherwise display signs of a disability, and those with Autism should of course be treated no differently than any other non-disabled person. While Autism is a spectrum disorder (meaning a person with the disorder may range from a minor inability to process emotions, to a case as severe as being unable to speak for their entire life) the people suffering from the disorder are just that…people. They go through an unmeasurable amount simply to do the same things that everyone else does on a daily basis, and that strength should be celebrated to no end. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with autism, please feel free to take a look at the supportive resources listed below, and remember that we here in the ACCESS office are always here to help you however needed.

With love always,

Peyton Burnett (Accessibility Ambassador)

Autism Resources