Video Aims to Raise Awareness on Campus of Those with Special Needs

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Publications coordinator Amber Carter, left, wrote, directed and appears in the video “Embrace Me,” designed to raise awareness on campus of people with special needs. (Photos by Thurman Hobson, UTHSC)

National Disability Employment Awareness Month each October celebrates the many contributions of America’s worker with disabilities. For UTHSC’s observance, Amber Carter, publications coordinator in the Communications and Marketing Department, thought making a video would be a great way to raise awareness on campus of those with special needs.

Carter, who has cerebral palsy, wrote, directed and appears in the video she titled, “Embrace Me,” which was unveiled in the Hamilton Eye Institute’s Freeman Auditorium today at noon.

“I wanted people to embrace those of us with special needs, and not run away,” she said. “I thought it would be great to do a film about some of us who have needs and tell a little about us, not just how we get through life, but how UTHSC has played a big part.”

“There’s no such thing as you can’t do this, you simply have to find a different way,” Carter said.

Carter, who has been at UTHSC for six years and is a member of the UTHSC ADA/504 Advisory Committee, had a very positive message in the film. “There’s no such thing as you can’t do this, you simply have to find a different way,” she said.

She is joined in the film by Lani Collins, an associate professor in the College of Health Professions, who has a neurodegenerative condition, and Shawn Bryan, business analyst in Information Technology Services, who is a disabled veteran and has a daughter with special needs.

Bryan has been at UTHSC for 11 years. He said the university has been very warm, welcoming and supportive of him and his daughter. “They have given me ample time to take care of any medical problems that I have and any medical appointments that I have, and have extended that to my daughter as well,” he said.

The lunchtime event was sponsored by the Office of Equity and Diversity and the Communications and Marketing Department.