By Paula Meyer
TERRE HAUTE — March is Disability Awareness Month in Indiana, and Indiana State University is sponsoring and hosting a variety of activities throughout to support and raise awareness.
A complete list of activities can be found at www.indstate.edu/disability.
• March 18: Paralympic swimmer and motivational speaker Dave Denniston will share his message of hope, positive attitude, and encouragement in a motivational presentation at 5:30 p.m. entitled “Mind Over Body” in Hulman Memorial Student Union, Dede I.
Denniston, a former Auburn University swimmer, was a world-class competitor in the 100 and 200 meter breaststroke events. He was on many national teams, in addition to breaking American and World Records. He tried to make the USA Olympic team in 2000 and 2004 and missed by two positions. Then, in 2005, he had an accident that paralyzed his once-powerful legs.
The presentation is free and open to the public. Copies of his instructional DVD will be available for sale and signing. Free-will offerings also will be accepted for the National Transplant Assistance Fund (www.transplantfund.org), which helps pay for medical treatment for individuals who’ve suffered from catastrophic events.
• March 25: The downward turns of the nation’s economy make services for persons with disabilities that much more difficult to maintain. Funding to many agencies is being decreased by significant amounts.
Learn about resources available for persons with special needs and their families at a facilitated roundtable discussion, “Road Map to Disability Resources: What’s Available for the Disabled in the Wabash Valley?” The program is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Indiana State’s Cunningham Memorial Library.
In conjunction with Indiana’s celebration of March as “Disability Awareness Month” is an agency fair in the Library’s events area. Tables will be provided for displaying your materials prior to and during the discussion. Any local agency wanting to make arrangements to provide a table/booth with information about their services please contact Carol Jinbo at (812) 237-2574 or firstname.lastname@example.org before March 20 so that a table may be reserved ahead of time.
The agency fair and panel discussion are free and open to the public.
There will be a question and answer period at the end of the panel discussion. Light refreshments will be served.
• March 28-29: Indiana Special Olympics 2009 Men’s State Basketball Tournament; Health and Human Services (Arena) Building, north and south gymnasiums. This event is free and open to the public. The Special Olympics Indiana Men’s State Basketball Finals take place at Indiana State each year in March. Special Olympics Indiana is celebrating their 40th anniversary this year, organized in 1969 through the efforts of a couple of Indiana State University faculty members. ISU has played an integral role in the history of Special Olympics Indiana, hosting the Summer Games 38 out of 40 years and hosting the organization’s Men’s State Basketball Tournament since 1971.