The ACU chapter of Best Buddies initiated White Ribbon Week to raise awareness of different disabilities from Nov. 12-16.
This was the first year ACU participated in White Ribbon Week, after the recent development of Best Buddies on campus.
Grace Carriger, freshman animal science and pre-vet major from Plano and president of Best Buddies, said she pushed to bring the organization to campus at the start of the semester. After receiving more members and an advisor, she began training for Best Buddies to become an official student organization. Upon completing the training in October, she immediately started planning White Ribbon Week.
“White Ribbon Week was an annual week that my high school’s chapter of Best Buddies did every year to bring awareness to disabilities at our school,” Carriger said. “I wanted to continue that tradition and bring it to ACU.”
Naoemi Sanchez, assistant director of Excel Tutoring and ACU Best Buddies advisor, said she hopes White Ribbon Week did more than raise awareness, but also promoted change.
“I think in order for a big impact to happen, we have to continue educating campus,” Sanchez said. “We hope White Ribbon Week will provide a great introduction to the many disability awareness events to come.”
Throughout the week, Best Buddies had a booth set up in the campus center to perform different simulations. These simulations demonstrated what it is like to live with disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, Tourette’s syndrome and visual or speech impairment.
“We hope [attendees] developed a greater respect for those who have to live with these disabilities every day,” said Carriger. “These simulations only help a little to show people without disabilities what it is like living with one – it’s not the same living with one every day.”
Anyone who visited the booth and participates in the simulations received Best Buddies International T-Shirts, a fanny pack and drawstring bag.
Best Buddies hosted a movie night Thursday from 7-10 p.m. in Cullen Auditorium as a final event to White Ribbon Week. Attendees watched “Where Hope Grows,” a movie about a former professional baseball player who grows in his Christian faith after he befriends a young man with Down syndrome. Chick-fil-a was provided to those in attendance.