Extreme sports athlete Wellman to speak during Disability Awareness Week

Mark WellmanBy SARA GIBONEY
UNK Communications

KEARNEY – Extreme Sports Athlete Mark Wellman will speak during the 22nd annual Disability Awareness Week Monday through Thursday at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

A mountaineer since age 12, Wellman has ascended over 50 Sierra Nevada peaks. An accident on his descent of the Seven Gables in the John Muir Wilderness in 1982 left him paralyzed from the waist down. After his accident, he continued climbing. In 1989, he and his climbing partner Mike Corbett made history with their ascent of the 3,000-foot face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.

Mark Wellman 2Wellman is a former member of the United States Disabled Ski Team and competed in two Paralympics. In 1993, he skied 50 miles and was the first paraplegic to sit-ski across the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.

Wellman will share his story at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Nebraskan Student Union Ponderosa Room.

Other Disability Awareness Week events include a presentation on disabilities in the workplace, a talk from the ARC of Buffalo County and a student panel on disabilities.

During the Faculty Luncheon, which is from 11:30 to 1 p.m. Tuesday in the Cedar Room in the Nebraskan Student Union, a panel of experts will present Read and Write Gold Edition.

Read and Write Gold Edition is a campus-wide literacy support program used at hundreds of colleges and universities across the country. The program supports reading, writing, research and study skills tools for struggling readers and writers, English language learners, international students, students with disabilities and faculty. Debbie Shaw of TextHelp, Brian Wojcik from the UNK Department of Education, Pam Cody of Assistive Technology Partnership and UNK student Catrina Maxwell will be on the panel.

The Color of Abilities Tree will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Students, faculty, staff and the public are asked to add a color to the tree in honor of someone with a disability. The tree is located in the Nebraskan Student Union atrium.

All events are free and open to the public. Disability Awareness Week is presented by the Collegians for Integration and Accessibility and the Academic Success office.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Monday, Nov. 9
2:30-4:30 p.m. – ARC of Buffalo County, Cedar Room, Nebraskan Student Union
7-9 p.m. – Disabilities in the Workplace, Copeland Hall 130
Tuesday, Nov. 10
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Read and Write Gold, Debbie Shaw, Faculty Luncheon, Cedar Room, NSU
2-4 p.m. – Veterans Presentation, Cedar Room, NSU
7-9 p.m. – Student Presentations, Dance Studio, Fine Arts Building 109
Wednesday, Nov. 11
2:30-4:30 p.m. – “The Theory of Everything” movie showing, Cedar Room, NSU
7-9 p.m. – Student Panel on Disabilities, Copeland Hall 130
Thursday, Nov. 12
2-4 p.m. – Rock Climbing Wall Demonstration, Mark Wellman, Wellness Center
7-9 p.m. Mark Wellman, Extreme Sports Athlete, Ponderosa Room, NSU

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Source: David Luker, 308.865.8988, lukerdt@unk.edu
Writer: Sara Giboney, 308.865.8529, giboneys2@unk.edu

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