RU educates with upcoming autism awareness talent show

Darlene Leal

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Photo by Darlene Leal

For the second year in a row, Roosevelt will be throwing an autism awareness talent show. It will be hosted by the counseling center, residence life and the academic success center.

The month of April is National Autism Awareness Month. The purpose of the talent show is to educate the RU community on autism and other mental or physical disabilities to better understand and to educate oneself.

“[We] want to help destigmatize autism, help people better understand what the diagnosis entails and provide a space for people to ask questions and receive answers they may have about autism and other mental or physical disabilities,” outreach coordinator Leila Ellis-Nelson said.

There will be no “formal winner” of the talent show, nor will there be a prize. What is offered is a good time. Ellis-Nelson said those who attend will have the opportunity to enjoy themselves without the worry of competing with one another.

Ellis-Nelson expects there to be music, dancing, laughing, food and plenty of fun.

Everyone from staff, faculty and students are able to participate in the show. If anyone was unable to sign-up, they are still able to enjoy the show on Monday, April 9 from 2 – 5 p.m. in Congress Lounge.

Grace Cunningham, psychology major, said she was happy to hear that Roosevelt is actively participating in bringing awareness to autism.

“I just think it’s nice that Roosevelt is hosting that and getting awareness out there,” Cunningham said. If she can attend the event, Cunningham said she hopes to see music at the show.

Cunningham was previously unaware of the event. As a suggestion for next year, she said that maybe to get further awareness of the talent show they should dedicate an email solely on the event or hang posters in the elevators or bathrooms, somewhere where students are persistently and actively located.

Amber Eck, a junior education major, said she was thrilled to learn about the talent show since focus is in special education. “I think that it’s super cool that they are doing it. It says a lot about our mission as a social justice school and I’m actually really excited for it,” Eck said.

Despite being excited about the show, Eck also admitted not knowing of the event. Eck said that she believes being a commuter and just going from class to class will cause you to ignore what’s on the walls. Eck thought RU needed to have more of a voice via social media and through email to get these important events across to students.

Regardless, both students agree that the talent show is an excellent idea and love RU’s involvement.

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