posted March 30, 2009

Disability Awareness Week Begins April 6

 Hope College will present a variety of activities during the college's annual Disability Awareness Week beginning Monday, April 6.

The public is invited to all of the events. Admission is free.

The week's activities will begin in the morning on Monday, April 6, with a wheelchair challenge that will have invited members of the college's student body, faculty and staff undergo a mobility impairment simulation for six, 12 or 24 hours.

On Tuesday, April 7, participants will be able to simulate a variety of disabilities, including mobility impairment, hearing impairment, vision impairment and learning disabilities, as well as have an opportunity to gather information about a number of hidden disabilities. The simulations will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the main floor lounge of the DeWittCenter.

On Tuesday, April 7, at 7 p.m., author and 1972 Hope graduate Kay Hubbard of West Olive will read her essay "Through the Glass Darkly" in the DeWitt Center Herrick Room.  The essay, which won third place in a writing contest and will be included in a forthcoming issue of the literary journal "Ten Spurs," reflects on her 40-year friendship with a Hope classmate she met during her freshman English class in 1968.  The essay explores the meaning of friendship and the realities of caring about someone who lives with paranoid schizophrenia.  The reading is being sponsored by the college's counseling center.

On Tuesday, April 7, at 9 p.m. a descriptive video version of the film "Babe" will be shown in the DeWitt Center Kletz. The video, designed for audiences with vision impairments, includes audio description of action on-screen. The Kletz staff will provide snacks and beverages.

The week's keynote address, "FDR, Jerry Lewis and the ADA," will be presented on Wednesday, April 8, at 7 p.m. in the Maas Center auditorium by Richard Harris, who is recently retired after 32 years as the director of access and opportunity for students with disabilities at Ball State University.  Through the use of pictures, humor and insight, the presentation will take a sociological look at the treatment of disability issues in the United States and will conclude with the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Harris will also be making a presentation at a luncheon for the college's faculty and staff earlier in the day.

There will be an open house in the Disability Resource Room of the Van Wylen Library on Thursday, April 9, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. The room, which features equipment for those with vision impairments, is on the library's second floor.

The week will close with an ice cream social on Thursday, April 9, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the DeWitt Center Kletz sponsored by the college's dean of students office.

The DeWittCenter is located at 141 E. 12th St., on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street. The Maas Center is located at 264 Columbia Ave., on Columbia Avenue at 11th Street. The Van Wylen Library is located at 53 Graves Place, on College Avenue south of 10th Street.