posted April 4, 2012

Disability Awareness Week Highlights Include Focus on Service Dogs

The training and roles of service dogs will be the focus of the keynote event of the 25th annual Disability Awareness Week at Hope College.

The keynote session “6 Legs Are Better Than 2!” will be presented on Wednesday, April 11, at 7 p.m. in room 1019 of the A. Paul Schaap Science Center.

The public is invited to the event as well as all of the Disability Awareness Week presentations during the week of April 9.  Admission is free.

The keynote presentation will be led by Lynn Owen Kraker of Hudsonville, who will reflect on her experiences using a service dog and address the stages of preparation it takes a puppy to become a working dog.  Kraker, who will be accompanied by her Paws With a Cause service dog, Caddy, is a 1978 Hope graduate who holds a master’s degree in counseling from Western Michigan University.  The event will also include a variety of other handlers/owners and their dog guides, service dogs and therapy dogs.

Disability Awareness Week will begin in the morning on Monday, April 9, 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 10, visitors 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 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the main-floor lounge of the DeWitt Center.

On Tuesday, April 10, at 7 p.m., the college’s Counseling Center will present “Coping with ADHD” in the Fried/Hemenway Auditorium of the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication.  The hour-long workshop will focus on techniques and ideas for managing ADHD in college as a supplement to medication or for those who are not taking medication.

On Tuesday, April 10, at 9 p.m., a descriptive video version of the film “The Help” will be shown in the main-floor lounge of the DeWitt Center.  The video, designed for audiences with vision impairments, includes audio description of action on screen.  Those who attend will be entered into a drawing to win a Hope College sweatshirt blanket.

On Thursday, April 12, at 7 p.m., the college’s Silent Praise student organization will sponsor “It’s Dark Out—I Can’t Hear You” in room 159 of the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication.  The hands-on workshop is designed to build understanding of the world of the hard-of-hearing and those living with central auditory processing disorder, and will include information about the invisible disabilities and ways to better interact with those living with the challenges, and an opportunity for questions.

On Thursday, April 12, at 9 p.m., a descriptive video version of the film “Despicable Me” will be shown in the main-floor lounge of the DeWitt Center.  As with the film presentation on Tuesday, those who attend will be entered into a drawing to win a Hope College sweatshirt blanket.

The week will close with an ice cream social on Friday, April 13, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the DeWitt Center Kletz.

The DeWitt Center is located at 141 E. 12th St., on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street.  The Martha Miller Center for Global Communication is located at 257 Columbia Ave., on Columbia Avenue at 10th Street.  The A. Paul Schaap Science Center is located at 35 E. 12th St., at 12th Street and College Avenue.