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UNK – All Aboard for Abilities is the theme for the 17th annual Disability Awareness Week, Monday – Friday (Nov. 15-19) at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
The events, sponsored jointly by the UNK Academic Success Offices and Collegians for Integration and Accessibility, are free and open to the public.
“We want to help make campus accessible for those with disabilities,” said Heather Walker of Amherst, Collegians for Integration and Accessibility secretary, “Things like making sure the wheelchair accessible doors work, there aren’t holes in the sidewalk and that the elevators work.”
The week of events will kick off at noon on Monday, Nov. 15, with the fourth annual Ability March at the Cope Memorial Fountain.
“This is your chance to climb aboard and show your support for all students at UNK,” said David Brandt, UNK Academic Success coordinator. “If you advocate ability over disability, join us in the march to proclaim ‘Abilities First!’”
Later that night, an Iraq War Veteran will discuss the challenges he has faced since deployment, and how he structures his life to deal with post traumatic stress disorder as a college student. He will speak at 7 p.m. in Copeland Hall Room 130.
Tuesday, Nov. 16, a Students With Disabilities Student Panel will be held from 2 – 4:30 p.m. in the Sandhills Room, located in the Nebraskan Student Union.
Wednesday, Nov. 17, Walker will share her success story about life with spina bifida. She will speak from 12:20 – 1:10 p.m. in the Nebraskan Student Union Room 310
“Join us for a look at her journey and how she gains the strength to overcome many barriers,” Brandt said.
UNK Alumnus Jeff Krull of Minden will present Disability? Not Me from 7 – 9 p.m. on Wednesday in Copeland Hall Room 130. Krull is a south central Nebraska resident who has muscular dystrophy. He will speak on his experiences with work, international travel and hardship. Krull’s philosophy is, “Life is too much fun and too short to cry over spilled milk!”
Thursday, Nov. 18, the Center for Teaching Excellence will present Accommodating Students with Disabilities in Online Courses. The presentation will take place from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the Communication Center Building Room 101.
“A must attend for faculty who are interested in staying ahead of the curve when it comes to accommodations for students in their online courses,” Brandt said.
The panel will include: Brandt, Steve McGahan of eCampus, Dr. Doug Biggs of the Center for Teaching Excellence and faculty member Dr. Carol Lomicky. Dr. Charles Bicak, UNK vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, will moderate the discussion. Attendees must RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Lunch will be provided.
“All Aboard for Abilities” will conclude with the showing of the five Emmy Award winning HBO movie, “Temple Grandin” in Copeland Hall Room 130 from 7 – 9 p.m. “Temple Grandin” tells the story of main character Temple Grandin’s struggle with autism. She (in the person of actress Claire Danes) tells the audience before the credits begin that she is “not like other people,” but that “different” is not “less.” Grandin, who is now in her 60’s, has earned a doctorate, become a bestselling author and pioneered the humane treatment of livestock.