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Department of Housing and Residential Life Presentation

Improve Your Allyship: Training for the Department of Housing and Residential Life

On January 18, 2019, a presentation was given to 50 Residential Directors and Resident Advisors of the Department of Housing and Residential Life (DHRL) by Dr. Ballard and Ms. Zabawa.

It was part of the DHRL annual staff retreat and one of three Allyship workshops held simultaneously. The three-hour presentation was conducted at the request of an assistant housing director.

After an initial meeting with the director to find out exactly what was needed and to assist them in developing goals and objectives, a presentation was created and tailored specifically for their needs.

It was requested that ODS Staff address, among other topics, Asperger’s and Autism and service animals and emotional support animals, and professional etiquette.

The presentation was an overwhelming success and was enjoyed by all participants and both presenters.

Especially welcome and enjoyed were vignettes and the two activities designed specifically for this presentation, one demonstrating proper techniques on guiding people who are blind which included a demonstration followed by each participants alternate being guided and guiding through a narrow passage way, finding a seat in a classroom and walking up and down stairwells.

The other activity gave participants an opportunity to play out several scenarios that are typically seen in a residential hall, however, i.e. being allergic to a service animal or having problems getting along with a room mate. Students had to communicate without using verbal or written communication. Both activities were designed to give the participants a glimpse of what their residents might experience and how to adapt and overcome various challenges they may face.