In observance of National Disability Awareness Month, the University of Nevada, Reno is hosting a series of free events and lectures in October 2007 as part of its ongoing initiative to increase awareness, accessibility and opportunities for people with disabilities within the University community and beyond. Additional events sponsored and hosted by Truckee Meadows Community College, the City of Reno, Reno Access Advisory Committee (RAAC), Washoe County Emergency Services, the Autism Coalition of Northern Nevada, the Lili Claire Foundation and the Nevada Business Leadership Network are also scheduled.
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 one freshman in 11 entering higher education each year will have a documented disability. The University of Nevada, Reno conducts research and training through the Nevada Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities and the University Disability Resource Center, which provides services to more than 880 students with disabilities. The University Disabilities Resource Coalition also advocates for students, faculty and staff through the Office of the Special Assistant to the President for Diversity.
The University of Nevada, Reno's monthlong series, "Access-Opportunity-Success," will feature a keynote address by Dr. I. King Jordan, President Emeritus of Gallaudet University and the first deaf person to lead a university in the United States. Other nationally recognized speakers on personal and professional issues that challenge millions of Americans with disabilities will be featured throughout the month. A film series will also be shown.
Most events are free and many include refreshments or lunch.
An interpreter for the deaf is available at all events. Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations are encouraged to contact the Disability Resource Center, (775) 784-6000, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Disability Resource Center website.
"Access-Opportunity-Success" is sponsored by the University Disability Resource Center (DRC) in collaboration with the Nevada University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCED), University of Nevada, Reno Office of the Special Assistant to the President for Diversity, and the University Disabilities Resource Coalition, with additional support from the Office of Disability Services, Reno Access Advisory Committee, Relay Nevada/Sprint, Associated Students of the University of Nevada (ASUN), UNR Enrollment Services, Extended Studies, Residential Life, Housing and Food Services, Nevada Business Leadership Network, Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, City of Reno, Washoe County School District, Northern Nevada Center for Independent Living, VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System, The Note-Ables, Disabled Sports USA Far West, Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities, Disability Awareness Coalition, Truckee Meadows Community College, Western Nevada Community College, Autism Coalition of Nevada, Lili Claire Foundation, Nevada Association of the Deaf, Washoe County Emergency Services, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advocacy Resource Center, Jot Travis Student Union, SAGE Consortium, College of Health and Human Sciences, ASUN Gerontology Club, ASUN Wolf Pack Veterans, Center for Holocaust, Genocide and Peace Studies, Department of Sociology, Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center, School of Social Work, UNR Veterans Services, and the University of Nevada School of Medicine.