Kaitlin Anzalone ’24 has created the first Disabled Student Alliance.
By Kris Dreessen
Throughout her life, Kaitlin Anzalone ’24 has had to manage health issues while pursuing her goals. Handling her care made her a strong self-advocate.
On campus, she shares those skills and insight with other students with disabilities as an intern in the Office of Accessibility. She mentors them on time management, getting better support, and, she says, “generally navigating the murky waters of college life.”
A sociomedical sciences and communication double major, Anzalone has been the opinion editor of The Lamron. She takes over as editor-in-chief in Fall 2023.
She is also a SUNY Disability Ambassador and has given presentations at campus Diversity Summits on topics such as proper language for disabilities, how to be an ally, and becoming more inclusive.
“The more I got involved with advocacy on campus,” says Anzalone, “I felt like, ‘We are missing something.’”
Enter the Disabled Student Alliance—the first student club at Geneseo focused on building a community of support for disabled students and their allies.
Inspired to establish the club, Anzalone didn’t know if she would succeed. Within a month, however, she had a constitution, support from other student clubs, a good turnout at the club’s first event, and a 10-person board of directors.
“We are a strong group of people, and they do so much. Everyone seems to also see the need and is jumping on board,” she says. “We are flying right now.”
Q: What is the mission of the Disabled Student Alliance?
A: “It will create a welcoming community for students who feel they need additional support, or a friend group, or someone to talk to. A lot of these students will have similar experiences, and maybe they won’t feel alone in their issues. We will be a place for them to feel welcome and safe.”
Q: Why did you choose to create the club, despite being unfamiliar with the process?
A: “If you see a problem, you should not wait around for someone else to do something. I saw a need for this and had an idea what to do about it. I am absolutely learning as I go.”
Q: What have you learned about yourself, especially promoting the club and why it is needed?
A: “I had some doubts for myself before I started, but I’ve learned I’m more capable than I thought. I didn’t know if I would be able to pull this off—get people together and all the details hammered out. But as I went along, I got a sense of what was needed.”
Q: Have your advocacy experiences at Geneseo affected your career plans?
A: “The more I got involved with this kind of advocacy and work, the more of a need I saw for it. I knew advocacy was needed for accessibility, but I didn’t really see people doing it. Navigating life at Geneseo has allowed me to explore what I really want to do with my life. I want to be a disability advocate, and eventually, a patient advocate, for example, in a hospital.”