“Reach out and Touch Somebody’s Hand” – The Daemen College chapter of Sigma Pi Epsilon Delta

       The College’s special education honor society, Sigma Pi Epsilon Delta, consists of current students both majoring and minoring in special education. The organization aims to spread awareness of special education not only here on Daemen’s campus, but also across the Western New York area. Sigma’s motto is “Reach out and Touch Somebody’s Hand,” which is quite literally what the students in this organization do.

        Because the students in this organization are specializing, in some way, in special education, most members have participated in field work. This field work experience allows members to work closely with children, adolescents and even adults who have disabilities. Not to mention, there is a required community service project that comes with a membership to Sigma. Nevertheless, the society’s four symbols—the torch, the scroll, the heart, and the lantern—truly encompass what the organization is all about. Each member of Sigma has been touched by someone with a disability, and these imprints never fade. Therefore, each member feels that it is her or his duty to be an active, passionate voice for people with disabilities.

        Just last year, members of Sigma Pi Epsilon Delta participated in an autism awareness walk hosted by Summit Autism Services. This activity allowed the members to connect with people of the Western New York area who are active in the special education community. Sigma also hosts bake sales and even craft sales right on Daemen’s campus to help fundraise for the organization, so that they have the tools necessary to help create awareness of special education. You would probably be surprised to find out just how much people don’t know about the special education community, I know I was. For instance, person-first language, and even handicapped parking spots are elements of everyday life that not everyone thinks about. These are just some of the reasons why Sigma Pi Epsilon Delta’s presence is so important.  The members of Sigma see it as their duty to extend themselves to those who require help. These students truly encompass what it means to be not only a teacher or role model, but a friend.

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