- Hannah Bravenec
Someone Like Me
March 8, 2022
Someone Like Me is an organization here at the University of North Texas for students with invisible disabilities along with people who would like to learn more about them. I joined this group my freshman year of college to be able to meet other students with the same difficulties as me.
I have multiple disabilities, including but not limited to, Autism, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, and partial blindness. These conditions have made navigating college a little more difficult, especially with the pandemic. I struggle with concentration, auditory processing, and clumsiness to name a few. I even took a hard fall last September due to my poor coordination.
However, this group has helped me to figure out different resources to help me succeed. Because of them, I was able to set up accommodations through the Office of Disability Access. Not only that, but I have been able to learn about other disabilities through my peers in the organization.
Overall, this group has benefited me through their educational and social outreach. I have met a diverse group of people that I can relate to and reach out to whenever I need advice on anything college related. Also because of this organization, I know how to better advocate for myself. I have faced a lot of ableism throughout my life especially from teachers and professors. This group gave me the resources to be able to share my experiences as well as promote disability acceptance. This has helped me to build up my confidence and realize that despite the ableism I experience, I am capable of living a fulfilling life and achieving my goals.
I asked other members of this organization about how it has impacted them. Current UNT student Heather Rogin stated that she found a group of people that she can “ask advice from, who are supportive, who care.” UNT alumni Kiersten Akins who is also the former vice president of Someone Like Me explained that when she first got diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes, her friends and family didn’t really know how to react. “This group listened, really listened,” Akins commented about her experience first joining this organization. “Someone Like Me not only aims to help others with invisible disabilities, but it aims to unite healthy people with people like us. The aim is to bridge the gap between the sick and the well,” Akins also commented. Someone Like Me has been a way for disabled students to not feel alone navigating their way through a new chapter in their lives that is typically more difficult to go through when disabled or chronically-ill. Non-disabled students have also been able to learn more about a variety of disabilities through events put on by this club, allowing them to know how to accommodate disabled people more.