The 12th annual Disability Awareness Week at Hope College is running Monday-Friday, April 3-7.
The week is an effort to promote understanding of
persons with physical and learning disabilities, and will
feature a variety of activities open to the public in
addition to those for the campus community. Admission is
free to all events.
The week's activities will begin 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.
On Monday at 7 p.m., members of the Hope community
will be challenged by playing blindfold basketball and/or
baseball in the Dow Center.
On Tuesday, April 4, participants will be able to
simulate different disabilities, including mobility
impairment, hearing 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 3 p.m. in the DeWitt Center lounge.
Members of the college's Counseling Center staff
will present an interactive program on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in
the Maas Center conference room, exploring concerns,
worries, anxieties and panic, and effective ways to add a
sense of calm to one's life.
There will be a poetry reading on Tuesday at 9 p.m. in room B27 of the Peale Science Center.
Mike Ervin of Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago,
Ill., will present "All Means All" on Wednesday, April 5, at
7 p.m. in room 102 of VanderWerf Hall. Victory Gardens
Theater has helped make it possible for people who are deaf,
blind or use wheelchairs to enjoy live theater, and has also
been a force in developing playwrights with disabilities and
putting their work on stage. Ervin will discuss how to
build programs that seamlessly integrate people with and
without disabilities. On Thursday, he will also direct a
reading of a one-act play he has written, during a meeting
for members of the college's fraternities and sororities.
On Thursday, April 6, at 9 p.m., a descriptive
video version of the film "Mr. Holland's Opus" will be
presented in the DeWitt Center Kletz. The video, designed
for audiences with visual impairments, includes audio
description of action on-screen. The Kletz will provide
The week will close with an ice cream social on
Friday, April 7, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the DeWitt Center
The Disability Awareness Week committee is co-
chaired by sophomore Elizabeth Ferry of Holland and senior
Christy Witte of Newaygo, and also includes juniors Andrea
Douglass of Green Oaks, Ill., and Charlie White of Grand
Rapids. Graphic design for promotional materials was by
junior Jessica Gutierrez of Pella, Iowa. The wheelchairs
used during the week are being provided courtesy of Airway
Oxygen Inc. of Holland.