On Jan. 28, HSU students were able to tune into a virtual event held by the SDRC where comedian Nina Ghiselli, better known as Nina G, provided laughs and a deeper insight into how she got to where she is today.
Nina G, a comedian, professional speaker and author of “Stutterer Interrupted” reflects on the importance of student resources for students with disabilities.
“It was resources like those provided by the SDRC that allowed for me to get through school,” Nina G said as she reflected on the struggles that she faced in grades K-12.
When she was eight-years-old, Nina G was diagnosed with dyslexia and accommodations became essential for her progress in school. It was not until eighth grade, after receiving a failing grade in her math class for only doing half the work, where she recognized the lack of awareness surrounding the accommodations set for those with disabilities.
Heather Hollingsworth is a first year transfer student at HSU and resonated with Nina G when it came to the lack of understanding when it comes to accommodations.
“Some of the professor’s excuses are that accommodations give me an unfair advantage”, Hollingsworth said. “It would be too much work on their part, they do not think I need them, and lastly, my favorite, that I need to find a way to get over my disability and stop using it as an excuse to be lazy.”
Back in October of 2017, the SDRC launched a “1 in 10” campaign. It was an effort to spread awareness about the amount of students with disabilities on campus, encouraging inclusion and acceptance. The campaign expressed that although disabilities are not always apparent, they are still widely present among the student population.
Kim Coughlin-Lamphear, a student access advisor for the SDRC, feels like it is important that students at HSU keep in mind that the SDRC makes up 10% or more of the student population at times.
“We are really trying to take away the negativity surrounding disabilities,” Coughlin-Lamphear said. “The usual, visual picture that students will have is someone who has a physical disability that you can make note of, but that is not always the case.”
The reality of living with a disability is diverse and Nina G focuses on that, along with other stigmas surrounding the misconceptions that society has when it comes to understanding and including people with disabilities. Her journey of being a stuttering comedian is continuously a work in progress as Nina G constantly wants to improve her art and reach more audiences. She wants to continue to bring awareness, while also using humor as an unconventional approach to tell her story.
For the SDRC it is important for the students at HSU to have a deeper understanding of where everyone is coming from and encourage inclusivity across campus.
“For any individual, there’s this notion about being included, of being understood,” Lamphear said. “So having someone who promotes that understanding and inclusiveness is what Nina brings forward for a lot of people.”