Week's activities to raise awareness of disabilities


College staff and students as well as community members will learn about disabilities and the various organizations that support individuals with disabilities during Disability Awareness Days April 11-13.
 
Organizers are expanding on several successful years to include a variety of different agencies and events held at both the NIC campus and Kootenai Medical Center.
 
“It is important that non-disabled individuals take the time to understand the needs and experiences of individuals with disabilities, so that we can support them in both education and in our community,” said Center for Educational Access Coordinator Sharon Daniels-Bullock. “We hope that this week's offerings will provide some of that insight.”
 
On Monday, April 11, the NIC Diversity Events Committee will show “The Miracle Worker,” a film about Anne Sullivan and her struggles to teach the blind and deaf Helen Keller how to communicate, at 4 p.m. in Todd Lecture Hall inside NIC's Molstead Library. Local celebrity Patty Duke earned an Academy Award for her role as Helen Keller in the 1962 film. Duke was originally scheduled to participate in Disability Awareness days to speak about her struggles with bipolar disorder, but was forced to cancel due to a scheduling conflict with a movie filming.
 
On Tuesday, April 12 the following events will be held in Kootenai Medical Center's Fox Auditorium:
 
“Disability Under Social Security” with Steve Hamman of the Disability Claims Service from 11 a.m. to noon. “Transportation in Kootenai County for People with Disabilities” by Transportation Planner for the Panhandle Area Council John Austin from noon to 1 p.m. “Disability and the Law” by Executive Director of the Disability Action Center Mark Leeper from 1 to 2 p.m. “Mental Health and Drug Court” by Judge John Mitchell and guests from 2 to 3 p.m.
 
On Wednesday, April 13, students and community members will experience what it's like to have a disability by participating in awareness exercises from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in NIC's Edminster Student Union Building.
 
Experiencing blindness or visual impairment: Patrice Wheeler from the NIC Center for Educational Access will present “Getting Your Bearings” in the Windy Bay Lounge.
 
Experiencing deafness or hearing impairment: Jacalyn Whiteman from the Center for Educational Access will talk about “Language and Culture for Deaf and Hard of Hearing” in the Blue Creek Bay Room.
 
Experiencing learning disabilities: Lisa Dobson from NIC's Student Support Services will present “Hands on with Learning Disabilities” in the Windy Bay Lounge.
 
Experiencing perceptual and attention impairments: The Panhandle Autism Society will present “Different Perceptions of Our World” in the Echo Bay Room.
 
Whiteman will lead a “Deaf Theater” presentation, which incorporates sign language into a theater performance, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Lake Coeur d'Alene Room of Edminster Student Union Building.
 
Harry Amend, superintendent of the Coeur d'Alene School District, will wrap up the week's events by presenting awards to students for their essays written about disabilities at 3:30 p.m. in the Silver Beach Gallery on the second level of NIC's Edminster Student Union Building.
 
The event is cosponsored by the NIC Center for Educational Access, Kootenai Medical Center, Disability Action Center and the Coeur d'Alene School District.
 
All events are free and open to the public. For a complete schedule of events, call the Center for Educational Access at (208) 769-5947.


For More Information
Center for Educational Access Coordinator Sharon Daniels-Bullock, (208) 769-7794

Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2005

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