“Ex diversitate vires,” “out of diversity strength,” Is the motto that adorns the walls of Ohio Northern University. This mindset fostered the Dimension Award Scholarship, which gives students from minority populations $1000-7000 annually to help offset the costs of education. ONU’s website states the following about the scholarship: “The purpose of the Dimension Award is to offer financial assistance to incoming freshmen and transfers who are from underrepresented racial or ethnic backgrounds.” 

However, this scholarship that is supposed to offer financial assistance to “underrepresented racial or ethnic backgrounds” is also being used to help other minority populations like female engineers or male nursing students but not students with disabilities. What is their reasoning for this? ONU does not classify students with disabilities as a minority population, nor do they want to encourage these students to attend ONU due to the hazardous nature of our non-ADA-compliant campus. 

ONU claims to believe that out of diversity comes strength but fails to recognize that diversity is more than just the color of someone’s skin. For example, 26% of the US has a disability, but only 12% of university students have a disability. The reason for this is simple: institutions like ONU continue to refuse to make education accessible. They deny students with disabilities the same access to educational opportunities like financial aid and accessible classrooms that other minority groups have access to. It’s time for ONU to step up and do better. Their first action should be adding students with disabilities to the list of recipients of the Dimension Award Scholarship. 

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