Edinboro University's 'Sitting Scots' Fight To Keep Its 24/7 Attendant Care Program

Dec 12, 2018

 

Edinboro University's in-house, round-the-clock assistance program catering to students with disabilities earned the school a lauded national reputation, but university officials now say it's too expensive to continue, and that choosing their own off-campus attendants will better prepare students for life after graduation. 

Parents of the attendant care program's 36 students say they chose Edinboro -- many studying hundreds of miles from home -- because its dedicated caretakers, whose jobs are being eliminated, allow their children to focus on their studies "without fear that something seemingly small would derail" them.

Journalists Bill Schackner and Stephanie Strasburg of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report the "Sitting Scots," a play on Edinboro's Fighting Scots athletic identity, are contesting the decision, arguing it's an abrupt breach of the school's long-standing commitment to care.

Today's student panelists include:

  • Beau Bruneau, senior journalism major at Edinboro University and president of the Sitting Scots, which is organizing students to speak up and support students with disabilities and their programming; and
  • Melissa Hallbauer, a junior studying industrial engineering and business administration at Edinboro University and liaison for the Sitting Scots.

Councilman Daniel Lavelle poses inside of his office at City Council.
Credit Kevin Gavin / WESA

Elsewhere in the program, according to the city’s Department of Public Safety, gun violence recently reached a 12-year low, and homicides are on track to be the lower this year than last.

City Councilman Daniel Lavelle acknowledges that progress, but more should be done to keep up the momentum. In a conversation with WESA's Kevin Gavin, he explores his STOP the Violence Initiative announced Tuesday that aims to reduce gang violence and one-on-one gun crime, as well as violent incidents involving police.

And WESA’s Sarah Schneider reports on the latest installment of Crossing Fences. The project, spearheaded by the Saturday Light Brigade, has paired black boys with men in their communities for six years. The boys interview the men about their lives, then edit them into short oral histories. The most recent installment was released this month.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators join veteran journalist Kevin Gavin, taking an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here