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Celebrating Disability Week April 4-8

March 29, 2011

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MACOMB, IL – Celebrating Disability Week: Transforming Perspectives will be held on the Western Illinois University-Macomb campus Monday-Friday, April 4-8. "Transforming Perspectives" is the theme of the weeklong event, which is structured to provide opportunities for members of the campus community to see disability in a new light.

"The week is intended to celebrate disability as an aspect of diversity and to promote awareness of the disability experience beyond one's medical condition," said Tara Miller, director of Western's Disability Resource Center, located in Memorial Hall.

Matt Glowacki, a noted speaker, consultant and a former paralympic athlete, will be the guest speaker on Wednesday (April 6). His parents gave him every opportunity to participate in a normal life, even though he was born without legs, according to his web site ( Glowacki is involved in his community, in speaking engagements, in awareness programs and in supporting sports programs for parathletes. He earned his bachelor of arts in communication with an emphasis in public relations from the University of Wisconsin –Whitewater.

The week's events, which are open free to the public, follow:

Monday, April 4 – 11 a.m. Disability and Social Justice. Gretchen Steil Weiss and Tara Miller of the Disability Resource Center will explore the frames that people use to conceptualize disability and discuss the impact of frames on power, privilege and social justice. (Memorial Hall 124)

Tuesday, April 5 – 11 a.m. Adventures in Universal Design. Rachel Smith, recreation, park and tourism administration faculty member, will discuss how changing the manner in which materials are presented impacts student learning. (University Union Lincoln Room)

Wednesday, April 6, 10 a.m. – 2: p.m., Celebrating Disability Day. This event features student displays that give voice to the disability experience in a social context. Area advocacy organizations and augmentative technologies are showcased. (University Union Heritage Rooms)
Noon. Reaching All Learners Using iPad, presented by Jason Beckham of Apple. (University Union Lincoln Room)

2 p.m. Diversity According to "Family Guy" and "South Park," presented by guest Matt Glowacki, who will speak about how "programs operating on the fringes of societal acceptance often have a more developed, logical and inclusive view of our society than the entities which seek a strangle hold on morality in our culture." Glowacki takes a new look at 'Family Guy' and 'South Park' and identifies the ways in which these programs break down stereotypical attitudes and behavior regarding people's differences. His interpretation not only educates, but also imposes a fresh look at life around us. What's the point, what's the moral and how are they reflective of the goings on of our culture are the questions Glowacki will address. (University Union Lincoln Room)

7:30 p.m. Diversity According to "Family Guy" and "South Park" encore presentation by guest speaker Matt Glowacki. (University Union Sandburg Theatre)

Thursday, April 7, 11a.m. Creating Accessible Word Documents. Jeremy Merritt, University Technology Web Services will give a 30-minute crash course in creating accessible Word documents. (University Union Lincoln Room)

Friday, April 8, 11 a.m. We Art Not Alone, presented by Professor Eric Mansfield, educational and interdisciplinary studies. Mansfield will speak about his personal disability journey. (University Union Lincoln Room)

Celebrating Diversity Week is made possible through the collaboration of the students of RPTA 251, Student Therapeutic Recreation Association; Students for Disability Awareness; WIU's Office of Equal Opportunity and Access; University Housing and Dining, Department of Theatre and Dance, the University Union Board; and the Disability Resource Center.

For more information, contact the Disability Resource Center, Memorial Hall 143, telephone (309) 298-2521 or email

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations