Television star Amy Roloff will be at Tennessee Tech University Tuesday to speak to the campus about diversity.
As one of the stars from the TLC television show “Little People, Big World,” Roloff has traveled nationally to impart her experiences living with achondroplasia, which is a form of short-limbed dwarfism, as well as being a wife, mother, businesswoman, farm owner and author.
“We wanted to drive the message that disability is diversity,” said Chester Goad, director of Disability Services at Tech. “It’s one thing to bring a lecturer to speak about an academic topic, but we wanted to bring someone who could generate an interest in diversity.”
Her lecture, entitled “It’s Me, It’s You, and Diversity is a Good Thing,” will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 30 in the Derryberry Hall Auditorium. The event, sponsored by disability services, is free and open to the public.
Roloff has proved throughout the show and her life that she can do the same things as any other person but in a different way.
“We hope that people remember the importance of not stereotyping. We must learn to think past stigmas. Our perspectives are often limited when the possibilities are unlimited,” said Goad.
“When I think of diversity, I don’t really think about disability, but I guess if you think about it, it’s as much a part of diversity as anything else,” said Hayden McMillen, junior journalism student. “Everyone needs diversity. Where we are in the U.S., we can sometimes be a little strict and judgmental, so it’s nice to have someone come and speak to us about diversity so we can be more aware.”
Roloff graduated from Central Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree before working in a family-owned business’ personnel department.
In 2009 she founded the Amy Roloff Charity Foundation, which is designed to help children facing various life challenges. She has also served on the board of Little People of America, the national organization for people with dwarfism.
In addition to her lecture, Roloff will be visiting some University classes and have a lunch with the SGA, ABC (Able Bodies Community) and the ADA committee.
The event is a part of the Center Stage Series, which is made possible by Tech’s general education fund.