In observance of National Disability Awareness Month, the University of Nevada, Reno is hosting a series of free events and lectures in November 2011 as part of its ongoing initiative to increase awareness, accessibility and opportunities for people with disabilities within the university community.
In 1945, U.S. Congress designated the first week of October as National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week, with the aim of helping disabled veterans. The word "physically" was later removed to recognize the needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In the 1970s, a shift in public policy led to further amendments fueled by the belief that discriminatory acts of exclusion and segregation against people with disabilities should be addressed through the courts. As a result, the U.S. saw passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 and the designation, by presidential proclamation, of a full month to increase public awareness and acknowledge the capabilities of the 30 million people of working-age in the U.S. who live with disabilities.
National studies have shown that 1 in 11 freshman entering higher education each year will have a documented disability. The University of Nevada, Reno Disability Resource Center, which opened in 1996, provides services to more than 880 students with disabilities. For more information about the University of Nevada, Reno Disability Awareness Month events, or the University's initiatives and services for people with disabilities, call Mary Anne Christensen at the Disability Resource Center, (775) 784-6000, email firstname.lastname@example.org.