Save the Attendant Care Program

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My email written to Interim President Hannan of Edinboro University:

This email is being written in regards to the rash decision made by executive staff at Edinboro University.

First, I would like to give you a little background information about myself. My name is Alyssa Briglio, I’m 20 years old, and I’m attending Edinboro University to complete my bachelors degree in biology. I am slightly different than traditional college students since I am wheelchair bound due to a progressive form of muscular dystrophy. I’ve required extensive personal care my whole life and will continue to require it as my disease progresses. Yet, the one thing unaffected by my disease is my brain and I hope to put it to the test by becoming a pediatric neurologist.

Edinboro University, for at least the past 30 years, has been known around the country for their 24/7 personal care staff and other disability related services. This service is vital to my success as a student, and if nothing else, to my existence. Yet beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, this service will be terminated. We will be left with an outside agency to cover around 36 students needs. I can say from personal experience that this is not effective. This decision was made without the input from the students and senior staff members directly involved in the program.

Edinboro University should realize that taking this program away is equivalent to taking the students’ independence away. They should realize that there is no correlation between the functionality of our legs and the functionality of our brains. They should realize that although we may need to be lifted out of bed, or need help picking something up off the floor, or need medication placed on our tongues because we simply can’t reach our mouths, we deserve a fair chance at getting an education in a place where we feel safe. If Edinboro prides themselves on their diverse campus and numerous disability services, why would they want to abolish it?

I live with 35 students who fear that their degrees will never be completed because of this change. I know staff who have put in 30+ years of work into this program and got handed their notices while on duty today. I know Edinboro University is better than this and I will not give up until my voice and all of the other affected voices are heard.

Help us keep the ability to attend college without worry of being stranded in bed.


Alyssa Briglio