academic services coordinator, 308.865.8798
The 16th annual Disability Awareness Week, Nov. 16-19, at the University of Nebraska at Kearney will feature wheelchair basketball, a student panel, student guest speaker and a documentary film.
The events, which are free and open to the public, are sponsored both by the UNK Collegians for Integration and Accessibility, and Academic Success.
“Over the past 16 years the students and faculty at UNK have dedicated a week to breaking down the barriers of stigma associated with disabilities,” said David Brandt, Academic Success offices assistant director. “Due to their efforts, UNK is a place for all people of all abilities.”
The week’s events will begin on Monday, Nov. 16, at noon with the third annual Ability March at Cope Memorial Fountain. The march will begin at Cope Memorial Fountain and move west toward the UNK Health and Sports Center. Then, the route will turn south along 15th Street and east along Highway 30, around Bruner Hall of Science and Founders Hall. The march will finish by moving west under Nester View and returning to the fountain.
The Leadership Advocacy Institute will host an information meeting at 7 p.m. in Copeland Hall, Room 130. The institute helps people with disabilities take a greater leadership role in their communities by placing them on community boards. The institute also assists people with disabilities and their families in developing self-advocacy skills.
A panel of students with disabilities will discuss what it means to have a disability in an educational environment. The panel will take place from 2-4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at the Nebraskan Student Union, Room 312 .
“This is an excellent opportunity to learn more from the folks who are living it,” Brandt said.
Guest speaker Chet McDoniel, who was born with no arms, will present from 7-9 p.m. in Copeland Hall, Room 130. McDoniel is an inspirational speaker from the Dallas/Fort Worth area with a message of hope, happiness and a full life. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of North Texas in 2002 with a bachelor of arts degree in radio, television and film production. Additionally, McDoniel owns his own travel agency, “Off to Neverland Travel-Disney Vacations.”
On Wednesday, Nov. 18, Nebraska’s only Division One wheelchair basketball team, “Madonna Magic,” will take on the men of social fraternity Alpha Tau Omega in a demonstration scrimmage of wheelchair basketball during half-time of the UNK vs. Hastings College basketball game.
Turner Syndrome will be the focus of a student presentation in the Nebraskan Student Union from 2-3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19. Turner Syndrome, which occurs in about one out of 2,000 live births, is a genetic condition in which a female does not have the usual pair of two X chromosomes. Complications with this condition include scoliosis in adolescence, cataracts and arthritis. The student will tell how she has adjusted her learning to compensate for the disability.
Also on Thursday, “So Much So Fast,” dark comedy documentary film about romance, guerrilla science and the redefinition of time, will be presented from 7-8:30 p.m. in Copeland Hall, Room 130. The nonfiction cliffhanger finds Stephen Heywood with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, a disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement. His brother Jamie becomes obsessed with finding a cure, and the woman who’s falling in love with Stephen has a decision to make.
In 2005, “So Much So Fast” won the Independent Film Festival of Boston’s Audience Award and was the Sundance Festival Official Selection.
NOTE TO MEDIA: Here is the schedule of events for your planning purposes.
Monday, Nov. 16
Noon– Third annual Ability March at the Cope Memorial Fountain.
7 p.m. — “Leadership and Advocacy in Action,” Copeland Hall, Room 130. Leadership Advocacy Institute informational meeting.
Tuesday, Nov. 17
2-4:30 p.m.– “Student with Disability Student Panel,” Nebraskan Student Union, Room 312.
7-9 p.m.– Guest speaker Chet McDoniel. Copeland Hall, Room 130.
Wednesday, Nov. 18
7 p.m.– “Madonna Magic wheelchair basketball,” UNK Health and Sports Center during half-time of the UNK versus Hastings College basketball game. Nebraska’s only Division One wheelchair basketball team will take on the men of social fraternity Alpha Tau Omega for a demonstration scrimmage of wheelchair basketball.
Thursday, Nov. 19
2-3:30 p.m.– “Turner Syndrome” Nebraskan Student Union Room 310. A UNK student will discuss her life with Turner Syndrome and how she has adjusted her learning to compensate for the disability.
7-8:30 p.m.– “So Much So Fast,” Copeland Hall, Room 130. The dark comedy documentary film about romance, guerrilla science and the redefinition of time is a nonfiction cliffhanger that finds Stephen Heywood with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s disease.