Special to The Sun
The University of Central Oklahoma invites community members to participate in hands-on learning experiences during its annual Disability Awareness Week from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 7-10, fostering understanding of the challenges people living with disabilities face.
Sponsored by Central’s Students for an Accessible Society, Disability Awareness Week activities will take place on the sidewalk north of Broncho Lake on Central’s campus.
“This event is about creating awareness for a diverse minority group of people. Responsible educators and community members need to be cultivated to help society flourish and to put in place equal opportunities for people with disabilities,” said Sharla Weathers, director of Disability Support Services at Central.
The week’s events include:
On April 7, Visual Impairments. The week will kick off with blind and visual challenges where participants will use canes, blindfolds and goggles to simulate the challenges blind or visually disabled individuals face. Participants also will face barriers such as trashcans, tables and bystanders. Others will be challenged to assemble a jigsaw puzzle, decipher U.S. coins, write their name and draw a picture — all while blindfolded.
On April 8, Hidden Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, Hearing Impairments. Hidden disabilities can show with no “visible” signs to others and very often cause a person physical or emotional pain. Literature will be made available concerning some of these issues. Tests and games will simulate various learning disability challenges, providing a better understanding of common challenges people with learning disabilities face. In addition, a hearing loss simulation kit will be available to identify challenges individuals who are hearing impaired face.
On April 9, Agencies, Service Providers. On this day agencies and service providers will visit campus. Participants will interact with various assistive technology devices and learn about how technology is making information more accessible to those with disabilities.
On April 10, Mobility Impairments. Participants will complete physical challenges including maneuvering a wheelchair through a maze.
In the event of inclement weather, all events scheduled for that day will be moved indoors to the Nigh University Center Ballrooms on the third floor.
FOR MORE information, call Central’s Disability Support Services at 974-2516, SAS adviser Mark D. Maddy at 974-5413 or visit www.uco.edu/student-affairs/dss.