Southern Illinois University Edwardsville hosted the fourth annual Ed Roberts Champions of Accessibility Celebration in the Morris University Center on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022.
Eric Duff Wrobbel, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Applied Communication Studies; Kimberly Kilgore, assistant director for Equal Opportunity, Access, and Title IX Coordination; and Emily Milano, student equity and inclusion ambassador were recognized as this year’s Defender of Equity awardees.
“This event is not only designed to honor the life and legacy of Edward Verne Roberts, a pioneering leader of the disability rights and independent living movements,” said Dominic Dorsey II, M.S.Ed., director of SIUE’s Accessible Campus Community and Equitable Student Support (ACCESS). “It also provides an opportunity for students to share their thoughts about the state of accessibility of campus and celebrate a student, faculty, and staff who have been champions of accessibility at SIUE the past year.”
Milano along with fellow SIUE students Leo Tomich and Kaity Hall gave the state of accessibility addresses. Cecilia Kohlberg spoke about her finding her niche in the artistic world despite being visually impaired. Her ceramics artwork, entitled “You’re Not Here to Conform”, was on display at the celebration.
“You’re not here to conform to the narrow view of what society thinks you can or can’t do,” said Kohlberg. “You’re here to bloom. You’re here to succeed.”
For more information about ACCESS and ways to donate to the campus organization, visit siueconnect.org/support-access.