While pursuing a bachelor’s in psychology at UIC, Sara Burnett double minored in sociology and disability and human development. She recently reached out to to thank DHD for the impact the program had on her personal and professional life.
In her letter Sara explains, “before taking DHD classes I had the stereotypical view of people with disabilities, which I am ashamed to admit. If it were not for the DHD program I would have carried my previous ignorance into my career working with people with disabilities. Instead I was able to gain an amazing understanding of disability culture, history, and rights which I was then able to pass on to others.”
After moving to Colorado, Sara started a job as a special education paraprofessional. However, she quickly found she was “embarrassed” by the program’s lack of funding and “understanding and education.” She explains, “the administration had little respect for the special education department, which then negatively affected how the team could help the students.” Sara resigned from her position to look “for work elsewhere to grow personally and professionally.”
Sara is now “super excited to have the opportunity to work with a social services company called Sample Supports located in Northern Colorado. They believe everyone has a right and space in the community and no one should be institutionalized… They never say ‘no’ to taking on new clients, no matter the prior behaviors or offenses, and truly believe in protecting and respecting every client’s human rights.”
Appreciative of the undergraduate program at DHD, Sara explains, “as I continue down this professional path I know for a fact I would not be able to provide this community with the support I do if it were not for the DHD program at UIC. Personally, I think every person should have to take at least one DHD course because it could change the world! Until then I will personally try to provide trust, confidence, and happiness to every person I work with and to educate the general public in the process. The work DHD does is making an impact one person at a time and I am so thankful for what you have provided for me!”