Slicers celebrate National Employee Disability Month
The month of October is recognized as National Disability Employment Awareness Month. LaPorte High School has remarkable students and staff, some of whom happen to have a disability of some sort. These amazing people have remained strong and resilient, even through trying times, such as the ongoing pandemic.
Mrs. Korell, the French teacher here at LPHS, has muscular dystrophy and has lived with this for over 30 years. There are 44 different kinds of muscular dystrophy, but the type that Korell has isn’t able to be determined yet.
While COVID-19 may pose a risk to other people with a disability, Korell is grateful that she would not be as in danger if she tested positive for the coronavirus as others with physical ailments.
“Luckily, my situation is nerve based so it’s not an immune system thing, like people with multiple sclerosis. It doesn’t necessarily make me more susceptible to the virus,” Korell said
Though some difficulties may set Korell back, her husband, Mr. Korell, a math teacher here at LPHS, helps her out greatly during the school day. He helps her retrieve papers, go in and out of the building, and more during the day.
Mrs. Korell doesn’t see muscular dystrophy as a setback in her life. In fact, Mrs. Korell is grateful that her disability has made her family, especially her children, better people.
“My disability has made my children better people and my family better people. I was terrified when I had kids, that my disability was going to make them sad or make their life hard and unhappy. I think it’s had the opposite effect,” Korell said.
Korell wants people to know that even though she has a disability, she is able to do her job just as well as the next person.
“The biggest misconception is that a person with a disability can’t work because they might have to do parts of a job differently and people just assume they can’t do that job. Usually things can be adapted and that’s important for people to be given the opportunity,” Korell said.
While Korell actually experiences having a disability everyday, Mrs. Bos, a special education teacher at LPHS, sees things through her students’ point of view.
There are several misconceptions about special needs students. According to Bos, some people regard her students as lazy or unmotivated, with no goals to work towards. However, this isn’t the case. Students may be overwhelmed with a large workload or have a learning disability that is not easily visible.
“Just because a peer/student appears ‘normal’ doesn’t mean they don’t have difficulties in learning. Students with disabilities want to be seen and heard just like everyone else,” Bos said.
Special needs students are participating in classes that are teaching them fundamental skills needed in the world. Classes range from business to science.