Augustana understands the value and impact that historically marginalized people have on communities all over the world — recognizing that this university would not be the place it is without these students, faculty and staff. In the "At AU" series, the university aims to showcase these exceptional people so we can all hear their voices in an effort to foster positivity and create awareness of their experiences on campus.
For the month of July — Disability Pride Month — Augustana is featuring Darian Falon ‘25, a student in the Augie Access Program. Falon is from Baltic, South Dakota, and learned about Augustana from her high school special education teacher. At AU, she’s involved with Bible study and FRIENDSLink, an organization dedicated to forming and fostering friendships between adults with differing abilities and the AU community. In the future, Falon hopes to be a paraprofessional in a special education program.
Q: What is/are the reason(s) you chose to come to Augustana?
A: I wanted a college experience and there are not many colleges that offer programs for students with disabilities. The Augie Access Program is one of a kind!
Q: How would you describe your disability? What is it like to be a person with a disability at AU?
A: I have a seizure disorder and cognitive disability. It affects my thinking and causes me to struggle with things that other people don’t.
AU feels like a big campus to me, coming from Baltic, but it has a small town feel. AU is very welcoming and accepting to students with disabilities. People are always willing to help me but also encourage me to do as much as I can on my own.
Q: What does Disability Pride Month mean to you?
A: It is awesome! I am so thankful that people with disabilities are being celebrated. In many environments, people with disabilities are not recognized or given a chance. That does not happen here at AU.
Q: What do you want others to know about your disability?
A: I am not a quitter. Because of my disability, I have had to work harder to achieve certain things. I have been through some difficult times, but I love where I am at in my life today.
Q: Is there someone at Augustana who has been inspirational to you or helped guide you throughout your time at AU? If so, how?
A: Jessica Lamb (program director of Augie Access) is my hero. She is from Baltic too, and she offers me great support and encouragement when I need it. She is always so positive.
To learn more about the "At AU Series," visit augie.edu/AtAU.