posted April 3, 2008

Disability Awareness Week Begins April 7

Hope College will present a variety of activities during the college's annual Disability Awareness Week beginning Monday, April 7.

Highlights will include a basketball game featuring the Grand Rapids Pacers Wheelchair Basketball team and members of the college's men's basketball team on Wednesday, April 9.

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

The week's activities will begin in the morning on Monday, April 7, 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 8, 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 3 p.m. in the main floor lounge of the DeWittCenter.

The wheelchair basketball game between the Grand Rapids Pacers Wheelchair Basketball team and members of the Hope men's team will take place on Wednesday, April 9, at 7 p.m. at the Dow Center. The Hope players will be occupying athletic chairs and given brief instructions on techniques and rules changes.

There will be an open house in the Disability Resource Room of the Van Wylen Library on Thursday, April 10, 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.

A video discussing experiences with hidden disabilities will be presented with discussion following on Thursday, April 10, at 7 p.m. in the MaasCenter conference room. The event will be led by Jean Lindell of the college's counseling staff and Louise Shumaker, director of disability services at Hope.

On Thursday, April 10, at 9 p.m. a descriptive video version of the film "Pretty Woman" 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 free popcorn and soda.

The week will close with an ice cream social on Friday, April 11, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the DeWitt Center Kletz sponsored by the college's dean of students office.

The DeWitt Center is located at 141 E. 12th St., on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street. The Dow Center is located at 168 E. 13th St., on 13th Street at Columbia Avenue. 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.