Recurring Questions About We Connect Now Since its Creation by Gabriela McCall Delgado

These are some recurring questions that people have asked me about We Connect Now since its creation in 2008.

1. What made you decide to start the We Connect Now website?  Do you have a personal connection to disabilities?

First in high school I had a hard time finding information about college campuses and their services and resources for students with
disabilities. This made it difficult for me to make an informed decision as to where I wanted to go to college.  There was some
information out there but at the time it was all scattered and at times it was not easy to compare colleges based on that information.
Once I got to college I saw how there were clubs for different issues but I was not aware of a club that would bring together people with
disabilities on campus to share socially and to discuss relevant issues as part of the college community.  I also realized that there
were resources to serve students with disabilities that were not necessarily located on campus but there was not a platform with this type of information readily available for college students with disabilities.

Yes I do have a connection to disability. I have attention deficit disorder and a learning disability.

 2. How can this website help college students with disabilities?

The website is a centralized source of basic information that can help the user to find more specialized resources or simply to learn about
the experiences of other college students with disabilities all around the world. It is also a means through which college students can get
involved in helping others and expressing their opinions about issues relevant to the disability community.

3. What’s the main goal of the site?

The mission of the website is dedicated to uniting people interested in rights and issues affecting people with disabilities, with
particular emphasis on college students and access to higher education and employment issues.

One of the goals of this site is to help college students with disabilities to succeed in their studies by getting the information
and support they need, both through resources, links, blogs, latest news, studying existing laws and regulations and through personal
contacts. Through this website people can also share and read other people’s stories as a source of support and comfort. We also want
people using our webpage to take action by writing blogs, hosting an event or becoming involved in politics by knowing about upcoming
legislation.

4. What has reaction been like?  Do students (and universities) give you positive feedback about this resource?

Generally we receive very positive feedback about the website and our efforts. However certain disability offices of particular universities
do not work with us because they view us as a vehicle to lodge complaints about their work or as competition in the role they play
with students with disabilities on campus, because we have always emphasized our independence from the institutions and their
bureaucracy. We also do not receive funding from the educational institutions or the government so that we can maintain our independent
voice.

Also we have noticed that most campuses with special programs to work with students with intellectual disabilities do not work with us. If
you will ask me the reason why this is like this, I must confess that I am still trying to figure that out.

 5. Do you run this website on your own or do you have staff assist you?

I run the website as a part time volunteer. Throughout the life of the website we have had other volunteers at different times that have
helped us by doing such tasks as research, producing content for the website, translating the website’s content, blogging, hosting movie
screenings, etc.

6. Where are you based out of/what city/state do you live in?

The website was started when I was a freshman in college in 2008. Once I graduated from LSU in Baton Rouge, LA with a bachelor’s degree in
Philosophy with a concentration in Religious Studies I came back to Puerto Rico. Since then the site has been based out of Puerto Rico.

7. What issues do you see, that are now affecting the community of college students with disabilities, that were not that prevalent when you started your page?

The requiring of a mentor in order for the student to participate in programs that seek inclusion. This requirement may affect other college students with disabilities that are not in the program seeking inclusion, but who are in the regular track of the educational institution.  The student having to have a mentor may find it intrusive or patronizing.

 8. What are your future goals for this site?

To continue growing our user base and to continue being useful to current and future college students with disabilities.

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