David Brandt
academic services coordinator, 308.865.8798

“Spotlight on Abilities” is the theme for the 19th annual Disability Awareness Week, Nov. 12-15, at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

“Disability Awareness Week is a great event for both students and members of the community to attend,” said Jennifer Koschwar of Kearney, president of Collegians for Integration and Accessibility.

“Collegians for Integration and Accessibility promotes campus and program accessibility for students with disabilities at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, encourages the integration of all collegians, and works to meet the needs of individual students with disabilities,” she said

A series of presentations and other events will take place throughout the week, leading up to the keynote speaker, comedian Samuel Comroe on Thursday. All events during the week are free and open to the public.

The week will open with the Sixth Annual Ability March at Cope Memorial Fountain on Monday, Nov. 12, beginning at 12:30 p.m. At 7 p.m. student Jessa Hoyt of Kearney will present “Dis-abling the Bully.” Her presentation will take place in Copeland Hall, Room 130. Hoyt, a double education major, will share a lesson created to prevent bullying those with disabilities.

Dr. Erin Bush, UNK assistant professor of communication disorders, will give a presentation on Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 2 p.m. in the Cedar Room of the Nebraskan Student Union. Dr. Bush has presented her research both nationally and internationally, including a presentation at the Ninth World Congress on Brain Injury in the United Kingdom.

Tuesday evening, Chris Gaspari of the Nebraska Assistive Technology Partnership (ATP) and Anne Seaman of Frontier Home Medical will present “Access-Ability Through the Newest in Technology.” This program will take place at 7 p.m. in Copeland Hall, Room 130.

Students from across campus will discuss what it means to have a disability in an educational environment. The students will share their experiences in a Student Panel Discussion on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 2 p.m. in the Cedar Room of the Nebraskan Student Union.

At 7 p.m., the film “I am Sam” will be shown in the Sisler Room of the Memorial Student Affairs Building. The film, starring Sean Penn and Dakota Fanning, is about a developmentally disabled man who fights for custody of his 7-year-old daughter

The Center for Teaching Excellence will present “Understanding Veteran Students in the Classroom” at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 15. Travis Karr, director for the Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success grant, and Lori Wardlow, OEF/OIF/OND program manager at the VA Nebraska/Western Iowa Health Care system, will give the presentation.

“It is expected that we will continue to see an increasing number of veteran students on campus in the future, as veterans will begin to use their educational benefits,” Karr said. “This presentation will address differences between civilian and military cultures, and the challenges and barriers of transition from the battlefield to the classroom.”

At 2 p.m., Comedian Samuel Comroe will tell of his own life experiences with bullying. He will be speaking in the Nebraskan Student Union Cedar Room.

That evening, Comroe, who is a regular at the Laugh Factory and at the Flappers Comedy Club in Burbank, Calif., will speak about his own life with Tourette Syndrome. He will give his presentation at 7 p.m. in the Nebraskan Student Union Ponderosa Room. Tourette Syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary tics or vocalizations.

The 19th Annual Disabilities Awareness Week is presented jointly by the Collegians for Integration and Accessibility, the Academic Success Office and the Division of Student Affairs.