News

Ability Week offers Insightful Entertainment

October 23, 2009
Category: Special Events


Southern Utah University's Disability Support Center will hold its annual Ability week beginning next Monday and running through Friday, October 30. The focus of Ability week is to increase public awareness of the many challenges faced daily by those with physical disabilities. 

The week’s activities and presentations range from a wheelchair basketball tournament, featuring SUU students, faculty and staff, to an Off the Cuff performance entitled, “Disability Facts”. 

New to the Ability Week activities this year will be the first annual Southern Utah Unity Summit on Monday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Sharwan Smith Student Center. In line with the goals of Ability Week, the summit will address the needs and issues of people who face barriers to personal empowerment, featuring hometown hero Tyler Wilkinson as the keynote speaker. Wilkinson, from St. George, UT, is a former all-star athlete and motivational speaker with paraplegia. 

Following Wilkinson’s presentation will be a panel discussion with both local and state legislators to discuss a variety of social and political topics related to disabilities. 

The Summit will also offer a selection of workshops including dialogue on invisible disabilities and discussions about disabilities within the family and resources available to caregivers. 

The Unity Summit and other Ability Week activities are open to all students, faculty and community members and would be of special interest to those who are interested in special education, counseling or a medical profession and to those who are engaged in service to a person with a physical disability. 

In addition to the wheelchair basketball tournament in SUU’s P.E. Building that will run Monday through Wednesday from 5-9 p.m., followed by a championship game on Thursday at 6:30 p.m., the week’s physical learning activities include an obstacle course on Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Mall of the Student Center and ultimate disability Frisbee at noon on Friday in the Business Quad. 

There will also be presentations and panel discussions throughout the week in the Starlight Room of the Sharwan Smith Student Center that will discuss the changing faces of disabilities and various issues facing the disabled. 

The week will conclude with the Off the Cuff performance in the Student Center Living Room at 1 p.m. on Friday. 

By way of entertainment, there will also be a screening of the film What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, starring Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio, in the Student Center Theater at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday. 

A full schedule of the week’s activities is attached and may also be viewed on the University’s general activity calendar. Additional information about the Unity Summit may be found on the Red Rock Center for Independence website or through Carmen Alldredge in the University’s Student Support Center.

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