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Community Invited to Participate in Disability Awareness Week at Clarkson University

The community is invited to a series of events beginning Monday, October 17, as Clarkson University observes Disability Awareness Week.

“Students with disabilities are a cross-section of the Clarkson community," says Sheila McCarthy, director of accommodative services. "Most of them have hidden disabilities. But regardless of whether or not their disabilities 'show,' they're leaders in clubs and organizations; they’re athletes, workers, and award winners. The same will be true when our students graduate and enter the ‘real world.’”

During the weeklong celebration, Clarkson faculty members will also be recognized for exemplifying the Clarkson values when teaching students with disabilities.

"Students who use Accommodative Services have nominated faculty for treating students with disabilities respectfully," says McCarthy. "The sheer number of faculty members who have been nominated, and the heartfelt reasons students have for nominating them, testifies to the caring, respect for diversity and service many of our faculty members provide for their students.”

McCarthy says that events like this help create a culture of respect for all people, regardless of whether they have a disability or not. "Within a culture of respect, students with visible disabilities, hidden disabilities, or no disability at all, are comfortable asking for the help they need, making it easier for the kind of growth we strive for at Clarkson to occur."

The following is the Disability Awareness Week schedule:

Respect Pledge
Monday & Tuesday, October 17 &18, 11 a.m.-1.p.m. & 4-8 p.m.
Student Center
Stop by one of our tables and take a “respect” pledge by making a handprint on our Respect banner that will be given to St. Lawrence NYSARC. By doing this, you’re making a promise to stop using the words “retard” or “retarded” inappropriately.

Movie & Respect Awards
Wednesday, October 19, 6 p.m.
Student Center Forum
Congratulate professors as they are recognized for exemplifying the Clarkson values when teaching students with disabilities. Then, join us for a screening of the movie, Music Within, which chronicles the formation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Halloween Hoop-la
Saturday, October 22, 1 p.m.
Indoor Recreation Center
Get a team together to play in the Halloween Hoops competition. During this event, Clarkson teams will play with people who receive services from St. Lawrence NYSARC. It’s great opportunity to interact with community members with disabilities.

Comedian Josh Blue
Saturday, October 22, 9:30 p.m., after the hockey game
Student Center Forum
Share some laughs with comedian Josh Blue, whose comedy often features his personal experiences as a person with a disability. He won NBC’s Last Comic Standing, which he participated in to “make people aware of the fact that people with disabilities can make an impact.” Blue has appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, Live with Regis and Kelly, Comics Unleashed and Comedy Central’s Mind of Mencia.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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