A small group of Virginia Tech students and employees who identify as disabled have formed the university’s first Disability Alliance.

The Disability Alliance is a space for disabled community members and their allies to come together and engage in community building, mutual support, and advocacy. The group is not limited to those with physical disabilities.

"We welcome people with any kind of disability, including mental illnesses, learning disabilities, chronic illnesses, and/or other hidden disabilities," said Haley Burgess, president of the alliance. Burgess is a junior from Roanoke, Virginia, studying sociology in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

The group wants disabled voices to be heard and represented on campus and hopes to address cultural prejudices and dismantle systemic barriers to full participation in university life.

Any student or employee who identifies as disabled, or is interested in supporting the cause, is invited to join. The group will meet monthly.

Anyone interested in learning more is invited to attend the group's second regular meeting on Sunday, Oct. 11, from 3-4:30 p.m. in Squires Student Center, room 219.

For information on membership or to provide input email the caucus or visit the Facebook page.

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