Disability Awareness and Accessibility at Seton Hall, a new club on campus, hopes to advocate for disability awareness and accessibility while making the campus more inclusive for students.
DAASH’s founder, junior computer science major Joseph Lakhman, said he views DAASH as his way of giving back to the community.
“Ever since I came to Seton Hall, I have felt welcomed by both students and faculty and have embraced many opportunities despite the hardships of my disability,” Lakhman said.
Lakhman has the goal of amplifying the voices of those with disabilities “in hopes of creating an environment where they can flourish in all aspects of life.”
Lakhman also said he enjoys the diversity of the student body that is present in DAASH.
“It allows for different perspectives to be heard, thus helping those at SHU become more informed about the challenges faced by disabled individuals,” Lakham said.
Gianna Graw, Assistant Director of Disability Support Services at Seton Hall, serves as the faculty club advisor to DAASH.
“Being involved in DAASH is really important to me,” Graw said. “It’s important for me to hear feedback and discuss different topics with students, and it’s great to be able to bring that back to DSS.”
Lakham said Mooney Hall is one of the least accessible buildings on campus for students with disabilities. Mooney Hall houses important resources like the student mailroom and Counseling and Psychological Services.
“Because this building is inaccessible for those with physical disabilities, it creates yet another obstacle for those with disabilities where it does not need to be one,” Lakham said. “We envision a campus where all buildings are completely accessible for those with disabilities, while still maintaining the historical significance of the University.”
DAASH Vice President, Nicole Cresitello, a junior social and behavioral science major, said she is looking to make a change on campus.
“My first goal for DAASH is to spread awareness to as many people as possible on campus that there is a club where members are willing to advocate for people with disabilities,” Cresitello said. “This is a club that prides itself on open conversation and teamwork to make positive changes at Seton Hall University.”
Cresitello said she enjoys how the members collaborate with one another to make a difference.
“When every member collaborates and works together, we are able to hear different personal experiences, points of views and solutions,” Cresitello said. “I enjoy how interactive our meetings are and the ideas we come up with.”
Alexa Toohey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org