News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Breaking News

News

March 19, 2013

Disablity can’t stop ISU professor

Program provides insight into the wheelchair-bound reality

TERRE HAUTE — Don Rogers is an associate professor at Indiana State University, a husband, father of two and an avid bass fisherman.

And since a motorcycle accident at age 21, he has used a wheelchair to get around.

Yet the disability has not slowed Rogers, something Rick Burger of Duke Energy discovered Monday as the two spent a few hours together in downtown Terre Haute as they participated in Disability Awareness Through Experience (DATE).

The program, part of Disabilities Awareness Month, is aimed at involving community leaders in firsthand learning about coping with sight, hearing and mobility limitations.

“I am fortunate that I am still able to do pretty much everything that I want,” he told Burger, while showing photos and video of a fishing trip he took this month to a lake on the Texas/Louisiana border.

Rogers can use his quadriceps and the inside of his hamstring muscles, allowing him to operate a vehicle without the use of hand controls. Plus, two plastic braces on his lower legs allow him to stand and move along the side of his vehicle to the front seat.

He uses a sport wheelchair, weighing just 25 pounds, that he easily stores in the back of his vehicle.

“He is amazing,” Burger said. “The strength that he has, with his attitude, can carry a lot in anyone’s life, not just those with disabilities or special needs,” Burger said.

“I think if we all had half the attitude that Don carries, it would really make a life different. I have known him over the years here, but didn’t know he could do all this,” Burger said of Rogers’ hobbies and physical ability, such as using his wheelchair to go down large steps.

“I think he is an ambassador,” Burger said of Rogers’ role in the community and serving as a board member of the Wabash Valley Independent Living and Learning Center.

Rogers, 57, is an associate professor at ISU, directs the university’s recreation therapy program and directs the Keystone Adventure program at ISU’s Sycamore Outdoor Center. He and his wife, Nancy, met at Indiana University while the two completed their doctoral degrees. Nancy is associate vice president for academic affairs at ISU. The couple has a teenage daughter and son.

Yet, after his accident in 1976 in Galveston, Texas, Rogers said he faced several questions about his future.

“I am lying there in bed down in Galveston. I didn’t know anybody with a disability and I didn’t know what the hell this even meant,” he said. “I was lying there and trying to figure this out in my head. I wasn’t in a rehab, where anybody could answer questions for me very well.

“The loss was pretty powerful at the time. You know you are still who you are inside, but now there is this feature that is so overpowering and you have no answers to the questions. You pretty much have to get out there and answer the questions yourself. You have to go out and find what this is going to mean,” Rogers told Burger.

“I think for a lot of folks with disabilities, the answers are imposed upon them for a variety of reasons. If you live in a community where it is not very accessible, there is not much transportation and there are a lot of attitudinal barriers, things like that, the answers that are imposed upon you seem to be very restrictive,” he said.

“I was fortunate as I got involved in wheelchair sports right away,” Rogers said. “So I met guys who were very active, who themselves were answering these questions for themselves and getting on with their lives. They had families, they were going to school, some of them had their own businesses. It was a very positive role model for me. There was just never any doubt in my mind that I was just going to do what I wanted to do.”

“I wouldn’t have wanted to have this happen to me 100 years ago, with the technology now and the civil rights legislation that has passed and public awareness, [it] is better,” Rogers said. “I think sensitivity about the issues [is] better. People are willing to listen and people genuinely want fairness.”

Rogers said Terre Haute is a city which generally is good for the needs of those in wheelchairs. He said about 12 years ago, he visited City Hall to ask for handicapped accessibility in his neighborhood. About a month later, all four corners at 12th Street and Barbour Avenue got curb cuts for wheelchairs. “It was because of the request,” Rogers said.

“I have always understood the power of the in-person piece. You go in and make eye contact and shake hands and talk about your needs. I think people tend to respond,” he said.

Rogers said one thing he sees the Terre Haute community needing is “more recreation and sports-related types of things that need to be made available to the folks here with disabilities.” Rogers said he still returns to Texas two or three times a year to visit friends, several of whom are disabled.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or howard.greninger@

tribstar.com.


 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
News
  • MET 073114 FAIR 02HEALTH.jpg Tracking a herd

    When a pig named Bruce stumbled as it was unloaded off a trailer and into the swine barn at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Thursday morning, Clint Shireman took notice.

    August 1, 2014 3 Photos

  • Mobs, toting cash, seek to enliven area shops

    The mob dropped like a tornado on the small northern Indiana town of North Manchester. They rushed into a small specialty shop, changing its future.

    August 1, 2014

  • SPT080114CASY hlleck.jpg CASY set to take over Bikes for Tykes

    Chances and Services for Youth, a not-for-profit group dedicated to helping kids, is taking over the Bikes for Tykes program from the Exchange Club of Terre Haute.

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos 1 Story

  • MET080114barrett mckee.jpg Barrett named assistant ISU police chief

    Chief lauds Barrett’s experience in juvenile, violent, white-color crime investigations
    Tribune-Star staff report

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT080114CASY decker.jpg City’s Exchange Club calls it quits

    After more than nine decades, the Exchange Club of Terre Haute has called it quits.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • MET073114griffin markers.jpg Trail blazers

    Blake Griffin remembers when he and his brother, Dale, would ride their bikes along wooded trails in the wilderness area of Fowler Park.

    July 31, 2014 7 Photos

  • Officials say city ‘overspent’

    Two Terre Haute councilmen told the Taxpayers Association of Vigo County Thursday they think the city is overspending, but they gave no solutions to reduce expenses.

    July 31, 2014

  • MET073114sinkhole korenski.jpg Block downtown to close for repairs

    A sinkhole is forcing the temporary closure of a major downtown street beginning Monday.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • MET 012312 MICK NEWPORT.jpg Wave of retirees at Vigo schools

    Valarie Bailey has worked for the Vigo County School Corp. for 26 years in roles that included at-risk counselor, school social worker, assistant student services director and curriculum coordinator.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fire house to fire dept.

    A legal battle has been resolved to restore ownership of the community fire station in Fayette Township.

    July 31, 2014

  • Road Closings

    14th Street, from Oak to Poplar streets, will be closed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 9 for Friends and Family Weekend.

    July 31, 2014

  • August Fire Safety Tip

    Monthly safety hint — Barbeque/grilling safety

    July 31, 2014

  • Difference makers, a nickel at a time

    Joining a youth sports team, getting a new pair of shoes or taking music lessons are among the things that will be happening for more Vigo County children in the CASA Kids program thanks to a new financial supporter.

    July 31, 2014

  • MET 073014 WESTMINISTER DIG.jpg Expanding independence

    Westminster Village, a Terre Haute retirement community, is investing $1.8 million to construct 12 new villa homes, officials announced Wednesday.

    July 30, 2014 5 Photos

  • Decades later, dry cleaners leave blemish

    Fifty years ago, about 30 dry cleaners did business in the city of Terre Haute. City officials are now cleaning up the mess some left behind.

    July 30, 2014 1 Story

  • MARK BENNETT: Year of River sets example for state

    Terre Haute pays more attention to the Wabash River these days.

    July 30, 2014

  • Climate of less regulation, more chemical spills leaves ‘historical pollution,’ NCA director says

    Former dry cleaning sites are an environmental problem all over the state, according to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

    July 30, 2014 1 Story

  • MET073014parks bbushee.jpg Camping turnout low for first half of summer

    Camping revenue for the past two months has dropped in Vigo County parks, a downturn park officials say is difficult to attribute to a new park policy limiting campers’ stays to 14 days in the three county parks.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET 073014 DESTROYED.jpg Devastating fire takes out mobile home

    A Seelyville mobile home sustained heavy damage in a fire early Wednesday morning.
    Lost Creek Township firefighters were called to the scene in the 2200 block of Tabortown Road south of U.S. 40 at about 2 a.m.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • Man posts bond after fatal wreck

    An Oct. 7 trial date has been set for a Terre Haute man accused of driving while intoxicated causing death.

    July 30, 2014 3 Stories

  • Driver injured, airlifted, cited for failure to yield

    An elderly woman was injured in a crash Wednesday afternoon in Sullivan County, according to Indiana State Police.

    July 30, 2014

  • MET072914leo screen.jpg Slick’s debut

    Bobby “Slick” Leonard was the main attraction but his hometown, Terre Haute, was constantly in the background as friends, fans and family gathered in Indianapolis Tuesday night to honor the man famous for the words “Boom Baby.”

    July 29, 2014 8 Photos

  • MET 072914 TAJIMI YANASE.jpg Sister-city students get a dose of ‘new culture’

    One of Juri Sawada’s dreams has been to visit America.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Motion delays trial for 2012 homicide

    A man who has been jailed about 20 months in connection with the homicide of his wife will not go on trial next week as scheduled.

    July 29, 2014

  • Sheriff charged in prostitution case

    Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden has spent more than 30 years in law enforcement working to protect the public from criminals, but on Tuesday he was treated as one.

    July 29, 2014 1 Story

  • maple candy closeup.jpg Vigo Parks dishing out the sweetness

    Vigo County Parks and Recreation has made a “sweet” addition to its maple syrup production at Prairie Creek Park.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Danny Rodden indicted on federal charges

    Instead of overseeing the operations of the Clark County jail and police force Tuesday, Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden found himself being transported by the FBI to Indianapolis to answer federal charges.

    July 29, 2014 1 Story

  • Woman’s condition ‘fair’ after grocery store wreck

    A Terre Haute woman was listed in fair condition Tuesday at Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis as the result of injuries sustained in Monday’s accident on the Baesler’s Market parking lot.

    July 29, 2014

  • Semi driver cited for alcohol use

    A commercial vehicle driver has been placed out of service after he tested positive for alcohol consumption during a Tuesday morning traffic stop in Sullivan County.

    July 29, 2014

  • Church to give out school backpacks

    United Methodist Temple will stage its first-ever Back-2-School Bash from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 9.
    The church is located at 5301 S. U.S. 41.

    July 29, 2014

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Four Rescued From Crashed Plane House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo
NDN Video
Under Armour Launches Biggest Women's Campaign with Inspiring Ad NYPD chokehold death of Eric Garner was homicide: medical examiner Christina Aguilera Pulls a Demi Moore! Man with no arms throws first pitch Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Is Justin Bieber Dating a Model? Guardians of the Galaxy (Trailer) 'Sharknado 2:' Hottest Memes Surfing The Net Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2"
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity
Real Estate News