Cal Disabled Students’ Union will hold its inaugural Disability Awareness Day this Wednesday on the university campus.
Disability Awareness Day, 10 years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, will be an occasion to celebrate the accomplishments of forward-thinking individuals in all walks of public and private life who have worked to achieve a more inclusive society. Organizers hope the events of Disability Awareness Day will affirm the strength and vitality of the disabled community.
Events will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will be held on Sproul and Dwinelle plazas. If it rains, Pauley Ballroom in the MLK Jr. Student Union will be the site.
Disability Awareness Day will feature prominent speakers and authors representing a cross-section of disciplines and the diversity within the disability community. Featured speakers include noted disability scholar and advocate Simi Linton, author of “Claiming Disability: Knowledge and Identity;” prominent German human rights lawyer and bioethicist Dr. Theresia Degener; widely published writer LeRoy Moore, who is a co-founder and co-chair of Disability Advocates of Minorities Organization; local poet Lee Williams; and Jerald Baptiste of Berkeley-based Center for Independent Living.
Speakers will address topics such as the need for critical studies of disability, society’s role in addressing disability, and creative expression of personal experience.
Organizers say Disability Awareness Day is the embodiment and realization of several of the organization’s primary objectives, including: to educate students, faculty, and staff about the experience of living with a disability and to inform students with disabilities about the resources available to them
In addition to the featured speakers, events will include the Disability Simulation Program, which allows non-disabled people to “adopt” disabilities such as blindness, mobility impairments, and dyslexia; and “This Ability” Presentations of sports, poetry, music, and dance representing the breadth, depth, and diversity of the disability experience.