Georgetown becomes the first Catholic, Jesuit university to launch a disability cultural center

Georgetown University will soon launch a new Disability Cultural Center (DCC), which will coordinate educational, social, and support programming and offer flexible, inclusive spaces where students can gather, according to a university announcement. The DCC will also have a sensory room that students can visit when they are overstimulated, making Georgetown the first university in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area to open a sensory room, and the first Catholic and Jesuit university to establish a disability cultural center.

Related: Georgetown Magazine: ‘Toward a more accessible, inclusive Georgetown’ >

“The Disability Cultural Center provides a home to celebrate disability pride, community, and culture and generate awareness about how we can create a culture of access inside and outside of the classroom across campus,” said Amy Kenny, director of the DCC. “It recognizes the wonderful disability community that we have here, and this is only the beginning.”

Holistic approach to student support

The DCC will be located in a newly renovated space on the ground floor of New South, a residential building on campus near the Women’s Center, the Center for Multicultural Equity and Access, and the LGBTQ Center. The DCC’s proximity to other student-focused centers encourages more collaboration and intersectional approaches to serving students and their identities. The new space for all the centers, which are housed under the Office of Student Equity & Inclusion, is anticipated to open in November.

Plans for the DCC grew from Georgetown’s Disability Cultural Initiative, which provides leadership and direction on the campus’s efforts to ensure the well-being of its disabled community members.

Gwyneth Murphy (SFS’23, MSFS’25) was one of several students advocating for the creation of a disability cultural center after experiencing firsthand the challenges disabled students face as newly independent adults in college.

“I feel pure joy for future Hoyas with disabilities, who will have much deeper community integration and cultural pride over their identities, which is a change that will deeply and directly serve them in their pursuit of higher education,” she said.

Read more to learn about how Georgetown is creating a culture of access.

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