UNT students with disabilities have established a chapter of the Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society.
UNT is the second university in Texas to establish a chapter. Lamar University was the first to establish a Delta Alpha Pi chapter and the University of Texas at Arlington was the third.
At least 17 undergraduate and graduate students will officially join UNT’s chapter at an induction ceremony planned for the fall. James Swan, a professor of applied gerontology in the College of Public Affairs and Community Service, and Richard Mabry, director of academic services, will serve as advisers.
Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society was founded in 2004 by Edith F. Miller of East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. The honor society's three Greek letters stand for disability, achievement and pride.
Delta Alpha Pi recognizes the academic achievements of its members through public recognition, leadership and visible participation in educational activities. Its members strive to increase awareness about students with disabilities.
"As UNT focuses on diversity, we want to recognize students with disabilities at UNT and to spread the awareness of what they are accomplishing," says Randy Batiste, associate director of the Office of Disability Accommodation, who helped organize the chapter's establishment along with ODA director Ron Venable.
The honor society members also seek to prevent discrimination of students with disabilities and encourage other students to join the organization.
"When one has disability issues, they are unable to change, but they are able to overcome the obstacles and to be the best they can be," says John Marsh, a master's student studying applied gerontology and the recently elected president of the UNT chapter. "A lot of people who have physical or mental disabilities will know there is now an organization that they can join and won't be looked at as different."
Students who meet the criteria for membership will receive a letter of invitation to participate in Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society. To become a member, invited students must demonstrate an interest in disability issues, provide documentation of their disability and meet specific academic requirements.
For more information about Delta Alpha Pi, contact the Office of Disability Accommodation at 940-565-4323.
†Elizabeth Smith with UNT News Service can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.