L: Keiron with Yosef the Mountaineer at App State University; R: from SDAP Facebook page

Una università per tutti

Sono convinto che l’istruzione superiore sia importante per le persone con disabilità.
United States, Northern America

Story by Keiron Dyck. Translated by Stefania Ledda
Published on June 14, 2021.

This story is also available in GB lk



Sono nato con una malattia al cuore chiamata tetralogia di Fallot con atresia polmonare.

Quando i bambini si trovano nell’utero si suppone che i vasi sanguigni del loro cuore ruotino in un certo modo, invece, il mio cuore non si comportava così. Quindi, sono stato sottoposto a un importante intervento nel 1999 e restai in ospedale per sette settimane: mi venne messo un pacemaker. Dopo l’intervento, sono cresciuto in maniera differente dagli altri bambini.

Oggi adoro ascoltare audiolibri come ‘Amleto’ di Shakespeare, sono molto più bravo in matematica di quanto lo fossi anni fa, anche se mi ci vuole un po’ per fare dei calcoli nella mia testa o per leggere lunghi testi. Sono felice di aver completato il ciclo di vaccinazione e adesso lavoro in un supermercato. Di solito non penso molto alla mia disabilità ma ci sono delle volte in cui è abbastanza evidente.

Ho sempre voluto andare all’università e diventare un insegnante di storia con una vera laurea in storia. Sapevo che nel mio caso non era esattamente fattibile perché non posso avere una vita universitaria normale, anche se l’ho desiderata per un po’. Poi sono diventato realistico e, a parte questo, non bado alla mia disabilità.

Mi sono diplomato con il programma Scholars with Diverse Abilities (SDAP) (Studenti diversamente abili) alla Appalachian State University nella Carolina del Nord. L’SDAP è un corso di due anni senza laurea né crediti per persone che hanno disabilità intellettive di livello moderato e medio. Ho ottenuto il certificato di completamento e non una laurea, quindi, non mi può aiutare a diventare un insegnante di storia ma sono riuscito a seguire corsi di storia a livello universitario. Programmi come l’SDAP devono essere brevi per poter essere personalizzati in base alle esigenze di ogni singolo studente e per far sì che i professori conoscano gli interessi di tutti. Questi programmi aiutano le persone con disabilità che vogliono andare all’università ed imparare di più su sé stessi e sul mondo.

 

“Ogni università dovrebbe avere un corso come l’SDAP.”

Secondo me, ogni università dovrebbe avere un corso come l’SDAP. Dovrebbero esistere in tutti gli Stati Uniti e in tutto il mondo! Infatti, solamente gli studenti provenienti dalla Carolina del Nord possono fare domanda per accedere al programma.

Non fraintendetemi, la situazione per le persone con disabilità qui negli Stati Uniti è migliorata da quando nel 1990 George H. W. Bush ha firmato l’Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ossia la Legge per gli Americani con disabilità. C’è stato un progresso notevole; inoltre, questa legge dichiara illegale qualsiasi discriminazione contro le persone con disabilità contenuta nei libri: è necessario che ciò venga effettivamente messo in pratica, il che sembra semplice, ma non lo è visto che non avviene. Per esempio, mia madre lavora in una chiesa che è priva dell’accesso per le sedie a rotelle: la chiesa è stata costruita nel 1926, per cui allora non era obbligata a osservare e a conformarsi a questa legge, però adesso è difficile rinnovare la chiesa per poter rispettare la legge poiché si tratta di un edificio storico. La domanda è: come rendiamo gli edifici più accessibili rispettando il loro valore storico?

In teoria è molto facile risolvere i problemi, ma sembra che abbiamo ancora molta strada da fare prima di riuscire a tutelare davvero i diritti delle persone con disabilità. Una cosa che cambierei nella mia vecchia scuola è permettere che a tutti gli studenti venga data la possibilità di frequentare i corsi che vogliono al livello che preferiscono. Quando andavo a scuola facevo parte di un programma per studenti con disabilità chiamato Occupational Course of Study (OCS) [1]. L’OCS si impegna a insegnare abilità utili per il lavoro e per la vita e allora, in quanto studente del programma, non ero idoneo alla frequentazione di corsi avanzati o di quelli avanzati per l’inserimento al lavoro, nonostante io credessi che ce l’avrei fatta con un po’ di supporto. Se fossi io a gestire l’OCS, lo renderei più simile all’SDAP affinché ogni studente possa decidere il proprio percorso di studi.

I programmi come l’SDAP sono fantastici perché uniscono le persone con disabilità alle persone che non ne hanno così che ognuno possa imparare dall’altro.


[1] L’OCS è un corso della scuola superiore modificato appositamente per alcuni studenti con disabilità della Carolina del Nord. Per maggiori informazioni, visita il sito https://www.dpsnc.net/Page/265





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Keiron Dyck

Keiron Dyck

I am 22 years old. I recently completed a program at Appalachian State University (App State), in Boone, North Carolina, United States, and I live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. My family is from Canada and I love to visit my relatives there. I really love history and would want to work in public history either in a museum or as a tour guide. In my free time, I like listening to podcasts and audiobooks and going for walks. In August of 2021, I will begin the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disorders program at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities, which will help me learn how to advocate for people with disabilities even more.

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