posted April 2, 2004

Disability Awareness Week

Hope College will present a variety of activities during the college's annual Disability Awareness Week beginning Monday, April 5.

Highlights will include the keynote presentation "The Lighter Side of Disability" on Wednesday, April 7, at 7 p.m. Activities will continue through Thursday, April 8.

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

The week will begin on Monday morning 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. Participants in the challenge will include Hope President James Bultman.

On Monday, April 5, at 8 p.m., the workshop "Dancing with Signs" will be presented in the DeWitt Center Herrick Room. The event will explore signing with music, and will be presented by 1991 Hope graduate Kristen Lambrides.

On Tuesday, April 6, 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 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the main floor lounge of the DeWitt Center.

On Tuesday, April 6, at 9 p.m., a descriptive video version of the film "Finding Nemo" 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 will provide free popcorn and soft drinks.

There will be an open house in the resource room of the college's Van Wylen Library on Wednesday, April 7, from 10 a.m. to noon. Located on the library's second floor, the room contains computer-adapted equipment for visually impaired and blind students.

The week's keynote event, "The Lighter Side of Disability," will be presented by Al Swain and Lydia Graber on Wednesday, April 7, at 7 p.m. in the Maas Center auditorium. They will provide humorous entertainment focused on the idea that "life is about possibilities - not disabilities."

Swain is the associate director of the Capital Area Center of Independent Living, located in Lansing. Graber is a disability specialist and former actress whose performing credits include appearing as an Ewok in the film "The Return of the Jedi."

The week will close with an ice cream social on Thursday, April 8, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the DeWitt Center Kletz.

The DeWitt Center is located on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street. The Maas Center is located on Columbia Avenue at 11th Street.