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UIS events will mark Disability Awareness Week

March 15, 2004

SPRINGFIELD - The University of Illinois at Springfield will host a number of activities in observance of Disability Awareness Week, March 29 through April 2.  Events range from demonstrations of the latest adaptive technology to a wheelchair basketball game, screening of an Academy Award-winning movie, and presentation on “deaf culture.” 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.

Monday, March 29, has been designated Physical Disabilities Awareness Day.  A Transition Planning conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Public Affairs Center.  This conference is designed for professionals involved in transition planning for students with disabilities who are entering postsecondary education or the workforce.  Keynote speakers will present case management experiences in current transitional concerns and practices.

At 6:30 p.m. in the UIS Gym, the Seventh Annual Wheelchair Basketball Game will pit the UIUC Whizz Kids, part of the U of I’s world-class wheelchair athletics program, against the UIS Wheelies, a team of faculty, staff, and students.

Tuesday, March 30, is Learning Disabilities Awareness Day.  A Disability Awareness Mini-Fair, featuring exhibits of disability-related community resources, will be held from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Public Affairs Center conference rooms C and D. Demonstrations and informational displays will be presented by various organizations including Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities in Illinois, Illinois Telecommunications Access Corporation, Illinois Commission for the Deaf, Springfield Center for Independent Living, Office of Rehabilitation Services, Sprint, and Illinois Telecommunications Access Corporation.

In addition, Beverly Johns from the Learning Disabilities Association of America will make a presentation on strategies for working from noon to 1 p.m. in PAC conference room E. 

Wednesday, March 31, is Vision Awareness Day.  A forum on Visual Impairments, set for 11 a.m. to noon in the Communication, Psychology and Visual Arts Building, will highlight obstacles that individuals with visual impairments must overcome in postsecondary education and the workforce. A Disability Simulation Table, located outside room 15 of the Student Life Building from 1 to 2 p.m. will feature demonstrations that simulate visual impairments.

A time capsule in honor of Disability Awareness Week will be assembled by staff of the Office of Disability Services from 3 to 4 p.m. in SLB 15.  The capsule will contain items from students, faculty, and ODS staff and will be buried for five years.

Thursday, April 1, is Psychiatric Disability Awareness Day.  Disability Services will distribute stress balls and information on psychiatric disabilities in SLB 15.  At 7 p.m. the Office of Student Life will present the movie Girl, Interrupted in Brookens Auditorium, located on the lower level of Brookens Library.  The film is based on writer Susanna Kaysen’s account of her 18-month stay at a mental hospital in the 1960s and stars Winona Ryder, Brittany Murphy, and Angelina Jolie (who won the 1999 Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress for her role).

Friday, April 2, is Deaf/Hard of Hearing Awareness Day.  Illinois School for the Deaf will present a program on “Deaf Culture” from 10 a.m. to noon in CPV 152.

A Disability Simulation Table, located outside SLB 11 from 1 to 2 p.m., will feature demonstrations that simulate hearing impairments. 

American Sign Language instructor Juli Sant will present an ASL class from 2 to 3 p.m. in CPV 152. Call the Office of Disability Services to sign up for this class.

Each day during the week, demonstrations of various adaptive technologies will also be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Adaptive Technology Lab, SLB 15.  Technologies to be showcased include Dragon Dictate, Text Help Gold, Kurzweil 3000, Read and Write, and ABBY FINE Reader.

UIS sponsors of Disability Awareness Week events are the Office of Disability Services, Delta Sigma Omicron, Office of Student Life, and Psy Chi.

UIS’ Office of Disability Services 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 providing 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.  The office provides academic support services to approximately 180 students per semester. 

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 40 degree programs – 20 bachelor’s, 19 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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