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UIS events will mark Disability Awareness Week

April 20, 2006

SPRINGFIELD – The University of Illinois at Springfield will host a number of activities April 24 through 28 in observance of Disability Awareness Week.  Events range from workshops on American Sign Language to a wheelchair basketball game, an exhibition rugby game, an adaptive dance workshop, and a session on job-search strategies. All events will be held on the UIS campus and are free and open to the public. All facilities are fully accessible to the mobility-impaired. For events that require reservations, contact the UIS Office of Disability Services at 217/206-6666.

Events for Monday, April 24, begin with a Service Fair, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Public Affairs Center Concourse. Co-sponsored by the UIS Office of Disability Services and the Special Needs Department at Lincoln Land Community College, the fair is an opportunity to explore disability-related issues and various services available in the community.

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Office of Disability Services

From 11 a.m. to noon, a Transition Planning Workshop in PAC conference room C/D is designed to allow families, school staff, and service providers associated with teens with disabilities to learn more about effectively planning the transition from high school to life as a young adult.

A workshop on Understanding and Helping Individuals with Learning Disabilities follows from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., also in PAC C/D.  This session will provide a basic understanding of what it’s like to have a learning disability, what a learning disability is and isn't, and practical strategies for assisting individuals with learning disabilities.

Events on Tuesday, April 25, begin with two short films and a discussion on Seizure Disorder from noon to 1 p.m. in Human Resources Building room 112. Discussion will focus on issues that impact academic, employment, and other aspects of daily living.

From 2:30 to 3:45 p.m. in HRB 112 there will be a workshop on American Sign Language, followed from 4 to 5:15 p.m. by an Introduction to Baby ASL. Baby sign classes are designed for parents, caregivers, and grandparents with pre-verbal infants and toddlers. Reservations are required for both ASL sessions.

At 7 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium, “Murderball, the Documentary” presents a look at tough, highly competitive rugby players who just happen to be quadriplegics. The film won the Documentary Audience Award and a Special Jury Prize at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. The following discussion “What is Murderball?” explains the rudiments of the game.

Events on Wednesday, April 26, include a reprise of the film “Murderball” and the discussion “What is Murderball?” at noon in Brookens Auditorium. The audience at the Wednesday session will be able to meet murderball player Bob Lujano. A quadruple amputee, Lujano has played quadriplegic rugby for 10 years and has won three medals as a member of the U.S. Paralympic team.

Also on Wednesday, the Ninth Annual Exhibition Wheelchair Basketball Game will pit the UIUC Fighting Illini wheelchair basketball team against the UIS Wheelies, a team of faculty, staff, and students.  The game begins at 6:30 p.m. in the UIS Gym. A half-time show at 7:30 p.m. will feature performers from Dance Creations Dance Studio.

The basketball game will be followed by an exhibition game of quad rugby, featuring the St. Louis Rugby Rams, from 8 to 9 p.m. in the gym.

On Thursday, April 27, UIS’ Office of Disability Services will host an open house from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in HRB 80. ODS staff will demonstrate various adaptive technologies and present informational workshops throughout the day.

From noon to 1 p.m. a demonstration of adaptive dance will be offered in the UIS Gym. Dancers of all abilities are welcome and adaptations will be made for each participant’s needs.

On Friday, April 28, “Working the Job Market: Employment-Seeking Strategies for Individuals with Disabilities” is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in HRB 112. This workshop is designed to address job-search strategies for individuals with disabilities, including technology, improved education and training, understanding workplace reasonable accommodation, resume building, dressing for success, and breaking through the attitude barrier. Advance registration is required.

From 2 to 5 p.m. an Alternate Format Conversion Workshop will be presented in HRB 111. Difficulties with the written word can result from vision problems, learning disabilities, or conditions that limit the physical manipulation of text. UIS Disability Services staff will demonstrate a process to create electronic text easily. Space is limited to 30 participants and advance registration is required.

Disability Services at UIS provides academic accommodations to students with documented disabilities. Through inclusion, advocacy, and support, ODS strives to provide postsecondary education and accommodation to all students by offering an environment that enriches the educational experience.  With this support, students become functionally independent as well as self-advocating in both educational and personal pursuits.

For more information about ODS or any Disability Awareness Week event, contact Disability Services at 206-6666 (TTY 206-6668).

    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs – 21 bachelor’s, 20 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.
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