Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling  |   Document Shredding
Rocklin & Roseville Today Events
Celebrating Life...
HOME

Student Starts Invisible Disability Club



About nine months ago, I featured 22-year-old Ohio State student Harley Jo Skorpenske, whose open letter to all the people who had criticized her for using handicapped parking spaces had gone viral on Facebook.

Skorpenske has lupus, which the National Institutes of Health defines as a "serious and potential fatal disease that mainly affects young women." It can affect the joints, skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood vessels, and brain. Due to lupus, Skorpenske has had one lung collapse on three occasions and so she can't tolerate walking long distances. Her disability can't be seen, i.e., it's "invisible."

In a recent telephone interview, Skorpenske said, "After the Facebook post went viral, I was contacted by chronic illness sufferers from around the world. They encouraged me and shared their experiences. People from Ohio State contacted me, too."

Skorpenske said she had been looking for a disability group to join while at OSU and had attended club meetings involving people with disabilities, but soon realized the experiences people with "invisible" disabilities had were unique. After receiving an email from another OSU student with lupus, she and this student began a club for students with invisible disabilities.

As a group, she said, "We do different things, such as having round-table discussions about aspects of invisible illness, which could include such things as ways of communicating with professors or also having a full-time job or managing relationships related to our illnesses. We get input from everyone and have guest speakers who typically are people with an invisible illness out in the 'real' world. They may have a job full-time or be married with children. They tell how they deal with it and how they got to where they are with it."

The group's current advocacy project involves raising awareness for people with invisible disabilities concerning handicapped seating on campus buses. Currently, the buses have pictures of a wheelchair over these sections. Skorpenske's group would like additional signage explaining not all disabilities can be seen.

As for students interested in starting similar campus groups, she said, "My biggest advice is to find one or two others with an invisible illness who are willing to put in a lot of time and work, especially in the start-up phase. For example, I spent time over the summer writing the constitution so we could be approved as an official campus organization. Right now, we have between eight and twelve people coming to our meetings."


Sponsored by Blue Valley Sod.

Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers.

Daniel J. Vance may be reached at www.danieljvance.com



Placer County News Headlines

Mono County Events for Scenic Adventure SeekersMONO COUNTY, Calif. - After record-setting snowfall that refilled lakes and rivers, leaving glistening snow on high peaks and meadows below

Lowest Reported Gas Prices in RosevilleRoseville, CA- Gas prices in Roseville and Rocklin are holding relatively steady as residents shift from summer vacations back to school and work

WJU Volleyball signs Isabella MauricioROCKLIN, Calif. - The women's volleyball head coach, Shasta Millhollin announced the signing of Isabella Mauricio from Foster City, Calif. to the 2017-18 roster.

Foam Fest Craft Beer and Live Music Festival[Olympic Valley, Calif.] - Achieve Tahoe (formerly Disabled Sports USA Far West) will host its 28th annual "Foam Fest" fundraising event

The Great Banquet in Roseville October 7thROSEVILLE, Calif., - Joni and Friends Sacramento will hold its fourth bi-annual event titled "The Great Banquet" at Bayside Church in Roseville on October 7, 2017

2017 Nissan Pathfinder adds more performanceRoseville, CA, - In recent years, the folks at Nissan gradually transformed the Pathfinder in the hopes of gaining admirers, thanks to some smart changes

Encephalitis in Placer County Mosquitoes DetectedROSEVILLE, Calif., - The Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District reported today that a mosquito sample has tested positive for St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV)

YES featuring ARW Tour heads to Northern CaliforniaApproaching 50 years in the music business, recently inducted rock n' roll hall of famers YES featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, and Rick Wakeman will kick off their 2017 Tour

Hangtown Music Festival in Placerville Tickets & LineupPlacerville, CA, - The 7th Annual Hangtown Music Festival running October 26-29, 2017 will feature three nights of host band Railroad Earth and bring together new friends and old friends

Gold Rush Days Returning to Old SacramentoOLD SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Get ready to turn back time to the turbulent 1850s when Gold Rush Days (& Nights!) return to Old Sacramento over the extended Labor Day Weekend

Fishing Gear Swap Meet in AuburnAuburn, CA- The Rooster Tails Fishing Club is inviting anyone interested in fishing rods, reels, tackle, and other fishing related gear to attend

Tales & Ales Brewfest in SacramentoSacramento, Calif. - Fairytale Town will celebrate their 58th birthday with Tales & Ales Brewfest Fundraiser on Saturday, Aug. 26, from 5 to 9 p.m


more news