Disability Community at Stanford Prior to Power2ACT
Disability advocacy efforts have been vibrant at Stanford for many years. Stanford students in the 1980s developed a report card on disability accessibility that was hung in the former Meyer Library. The disability community was vibrant and strong. In the 1990s, a disability student group tirelessly pursued a disability campus center. One of the main leaders in this initiative was Jessica Lehman'00. The campus center at the time was a conference room, which has since been abandoned.
More than a decade later, as a sophomore, Vivian Wong '12 realized that there was no disability community space or student organization. At the time, students with disabilities comprised more than 7 percent of the student body at Stanford, which was larger than the international student population, yet was unrepresented. Vivian worked with ASSU to create a new position in the ASSU executive cabinet: the Chair of Disabilities and Accessible Education (now the ASSU disability leads). Vivian teamed with Krystal Le '14 to create Power2ACT, a safe space for students with visible and hidden disabilities. Aubrie Lee '14 and Morgan Duffy '13 succeeded them as Power2ACT leaders.
Beginning Stages of Power2ACT
Power2ACT worked closely with the Office of Accessible Education, Student Affairs, and other community student organizations representing minority groups at Stanford. One of Power2ACT's top aims was to make Stanford more accessible. Power2ACT offered a peer mentorship groups, pairing students with similar disabilities, presented a safe space for students with disabilities, developed a map of accessible areas at Stanford, and created a welcome video for the Office of Accessible Education in 2012 (Click here to watch the video). This advocacy emphasized that Stanford welcomes students with disabilities.
Advocating for a Campus Center
Over the past few years, Stanford students with disabilities resumed advocating for a disability campus center. Alumni, including Aubrie Lee '14 and Chris Connolly '15, have been working on this initiative. Current advocates include Kartik Sawhney '17 and Zina Jawadi '18. Initially, Power2ACT was the main voice; however, more recently, ASSU, Kids with Dreams, and other student organizations have also been supporting this cause.
- Vivian Wong, Class of 2012
- Fiona Hinze, Class of 2013
- Aubrie Lee, Class of 2014
- Zina Jawadi, Class of 2018