The Disability Advisory Council spent an extensive amount of time preparing for their annual event, Celebrate All Abilities. The purpose of the event is to celebrate all ability levels students and community members have.
The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point featured the event for the first time in 2009. This year, the council planned three different activities for the event, spanning over three days.
On Oct. 21, the movie “Temple Grandin” was shown at the Dreyfus University Center Theater and goalball tournament will be held on Oct. 23.
On Oct. 29 in the Laird Room three guest speakers will share personal battles with depression. Each activity is free and open to students and members of the community.
Marge Strong, the assistive technology coordinator at the Disability and Assistive Technology Center, is excited about the opportunity students will have to play goalball. Intramurals teamed up with the council to make it happen.
“Goalball is a sport that is mainly done by people who are either blind or visually impaired,” Strong said. “To demonstrate or to do this, you do not have to be that way. They have goggles and masks that you can wear to participate in this sport.”
Strong believes the event is a good opportunity to gain exposure to different ranges of ability.
“It just helps bring down some of the walls and barriers that are out there,” Strong said. “That is what we hope when we have these events, is to have the community in and outside of campus have a chance to see this and be part of this.”
Jim Joque, the director of the Disability and Assistive Technology Center, is a member of the council.
“We are sponsoring a free movie,” Joque said. “ It is an excellent story about a strong advocate for autism.”
The film, goalball and guest speakers will educate attendees about disabilities.
“What we are doing is trying to be as inclusive as possible by saying that we are celebrating everyone’s abilities whether they have a disability or not,” Joque said.
Laura Polum, an academic advisor at UWSP, is also a member of the council.
“I think the more we learn about disabilities, the more comfortable we become being able to talk about them,” Polum said.
Polum hopes the event will allow people to get to know one another on an individual level.
“Hopefully all students, whether they have a disability or not, can go on in their lives and be that person who makes others feel welcome no matter how different or similar they are to people,”