Disability Education for Awareness and Leadership brings disability awareness to Georgia Southern

Jenna Wiley

The Disability Education for Awareness and Leadership is a lesser-known campus organization at Georgia Southern University that aims to raise awareness and break stereotypes about disabilities.

The organization’s main objective is to educate and bring awareness to the students and staff at GS about disabilities that we encounter in our everyday lives and to also provide a safe, comfortable environment for students with disabilities to learn, grow and to find a sense of community.

The DEAL organization officially started meeting in the fall 2017 semester and attended June and July’s First Night Out event to let future students know about DEAL and to recruit members.

Michael Tiller is the current president and also the founder of the club at GS. Other student staff includes Second Student Organization Officer Taylor Mallett, Fourth Student Organization Officer Bailey Deal and Primary Advisor Eugene Eden. DEAL currently has over 30 members involved in the organization.

Second Student Organization officer Taylor Mallett joined DEAL at GS in spring 2018. She joined because she wanted to help break stereotypes about different disabilities and to raise awareness about those affected.

“Our purpose is a niche interest, and I want to get out the word about our organization in any way possible,” Mallett said regarding club exposure.

Since GS’ merge with Armstrong, members of DEAL hope to expand their reach and start a DEAL club at Armstrong with video conferencing meetings.

Members of DEAL are planning on having campus events in the future to involve students such as wheelchair basketball, selling cookie-dough as a fundraiser and a simulation activity to help students understand what it is like to live with disabilities.

To learn more, contact Tiller at mt05466@georgiasouthern.edu

Jenna Wiley, The George-Anne Candidate, gaeditor@georgiasouthern.edu