Focus Award winner advocates for students with ADD, ADHD

March 21, 2012

Ron Carr, founder and president of Boilers with Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (BADD), is the recipient of the 2012 student Focus Award. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons)

Download image

Purdue presented five Focus Awards on March 1 for outstanding contributions to furthering the University's commitment to disability accessibility and diversity. Today, Purdue Today is featuring the student recipient, Ron Carr, who is pursuing a doctoral degree in learning, design and technology in the College of Education.

Carr is the founder and president of Boilers with Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (BADD). Established last summer, BADD aims to be a resource for Purdue students struggling with ADD or ADHD.

His work with BADD earned Carr a 2012 Focus Award.

In October 2010, after being diagnosed with the ADHD, Carr quickly realized that many of Purdue's campus resources for students with similar disorders sometimes are difficult to find and often are underused. The desire to help students find and use those resources -- as well as the desire to destigmatize ADD and ADHD on campus -- led Carr to establish BADD in June.

"When students come to college, they often abandon their accommodations and treatment. The resources that they had in high school, they often don't use anymore," Carr says.

"We want to encourage students to use those resources on campus. We also want the group to be social and focused on outreach."

Last fall, BADD hosted a free screening of the documentary "ADD & Loving It?!" in honor of ADHD Awareness Week. Sydney Zentall, professor of special education and psychology sciences, spoke after the screening.

On April 22 and 23, BADD will host as a guest speaker author Ari Tuckman, who has written extensively about ADD and ADHD and hosts a popular podcast on the topics. Tuckman's visit is expected to include workshops he'll host for Purdue students studying elementary and special education, Carr says.

The group's plans also include mentoring programs that would include pairing Purdue students with ADD and ADHD with their counterparts at area elementary and middle schools. Creating a coaching system in which Purdue students with the disorders are paired together also is in the works.

Carr says he also hopes to create a local chapter of Children and Adults with ADD/ADHD (CHADD), a national nonprofit that seeks to help educate, advocate and support individuals with the disorders. When created, the group likely will bring guest speakers into the community and will hold monthly public meetings.

Winning a Focus Award for his work with BADD is another big step forward in his fight to help support individuals suffering from ADD and ADHD, Carr says.

"The opportunity to get the word out about our group is a big plus," Carr says. "It's great, too, because it's helped us make connections with people who want to help us with our mission, which is to support and advocate for the ADD and ADHD community as much as possible."

For more information about BADD, go to