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CDA Member
Peter Gerhard

Peter Gerhard

  1. What is your role in CDA?
    • I have been a member since 1992. I was co-chair for one year.

  2. What is your favorite thing about CDA?
    • Working with other folks who share my interest in disability issues.  There are some really nice people on the council!

  3. What is your position on campus?
    • I am an academic advisor at the Academic Advising Center and the liaison of the advising center to Student Disability Services.

  4. What is your disability or condition, if any, if you are comfortable sharing?
    • Apart from the aches and pains and wear and tear of middle age I don’t have a disability. So I guess I am temporarily able-bodied. I have been told though that sometimes the obvious escapes me, but I don’t think this counts as a  disability. However, my wife ( a former UI student and one of the founders of CDA) is legally blind due to complications from diabetes. So I am dealing with disability related issues on a very personal level.  

  5. What is your educational background?
    • Master of Protestant Theology, Philipps Universitaet Marburg, Germany, 1985
    • Ph.D. Religious Studies, The University of Iowa 2000
  1. What advice would you give to a colleague on campus who has a (DIS)ability?
    • You are not alone. There are many people with disabilities in town and the American with Disabilities Act is the law of the land. There are many resources and reasonable accommodations will be provided, so don’t be  ashamed of who you are and your needs. In fact you might have insights that able-bodied people don’t have. Share them! You will be surprised about how well received they might be! 

  2. What advice would you give to a student on campus who has a (DIS)ability?
    • Same as above. In addition: This is not high school any more. You will have to  fend for yourself, your parents won’t be around forever (maybe not in these words, but you are getting the drift). Make use of our student disability office, they will make sure that you get the accommodations you need to succeed. But the ball is in your cart, you need to initiate contact with SDS.

  3. Where is your favorite place to eat in town?
    • Hard call to make. For high occasions (anniversaries, birthdays etc) the Linn Street Café. If we get into prime rib mood, the Iowa River Power company. For the occasional splurge, Back Pocket Brewing (great pizza and beer), Jade Sisters, and Sushi Popo.

  4. What is your favorite activity to do at UI?
    • We don’t live in town, so apart from work and work-related duties I don’t do much at UI.  I really used to enjoy the sauna at the Field House before they started charging mucho bucks to get in. During the summer we like to come to town on Friday nights and have a bite to eat and enjoy downtown.

  5. What best disability-related practices or changes do you recommend to better our campus?
    • Use Universal Design for new buildings….make all rest rooms accessible. I am not sure how to change this, but the wheel-chair route up the hill from the IMU, (through the IMU ramp) is not  exactly inviting.


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