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Disability Awareness Month Activities Designed to Inform, Support and Entertain Audiences

PhotoClass of 2012 Ferris State University graduate Marcus Manders, the Executive Director of the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired/Michigan, will speak on Wednesday, Oct. 6, in Room 203 of the University Center building, as part of Disability Awareness Month programming on campus.

An October schedule is an opportunity for the Liaison Committee for Students with Disabilities at Ferris State University to highlight this active and involved segment of the campus community, with speakers, contests and a resource fair as their Disability Awareness Month events.

Director of Accessibility and Disability Services Julie Alexander said an alumnus will be featured in the committee’s first event. Marcus Manders, a 2012 graduate, considers “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Through A Different Lens” during his 11 a.m. presentation on Wednesday, Oct. 6, in Room 203 of the University Center.

“He is the executive director of the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired/Michigan. While he is pleased to be returning to campus, we are so excited to have Marcus here to celebrate his success and get his perspective,” Alexander said. “We anticipate a compelling presentation full of great ideas about what can be done to support and encourage those who experience disability barriers.”

A Pet Costume Palooza contest started on Wednesday, Sept. 15, and continues through Friday, Oct. 15. The committee welcomes submissions of photos of a pet in a costume with prizes available for the top entries from those who submit their materials using a QR code available on promotional posters on display across the Ferris campus.

Michigan native and rising comic Jacob Barr will entertain in a free show on Thursday, Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. in the Founders’ Room of the University Center. Barr’s performance is for mature audiences.

On Thursday, Oct. 28, Alexander said the event schedule concludes with a Disability Resource Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Room 116 of the University Center.

“This is our first year offering the fair. We look forward to collaborating with community partners unique to this area, like AgrAbility Michigan, a nonprofit that identifies assistive technology to help those with needs assume or continue their roles in farming operations,” Alexander said. “There will be a representative to show how Action Trackchairs can allow anyone to travel out of doors on differing or difficult surfaces. We are so thankful that Michigan Rehabilitation Services’ regional office reached out to groups like the Bureau for Services for the Blind, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services and Disability Network, who will have their professionals on-site to give outreach and encouragement to those who attend the fair.”

Alexander said there is an incentive to check in with all their professionals set up in UCB 116 on Oct. 28.

“We are thankful that Cardinal Spa and Massage in Big Rapids and Schuberg’s Bar and Grill have donated gift cards. The winner of our prize drawing that day can engage in some fun and relaxation simply by heading to our downtown partners,” Alexander said.

Alexander thanked the Disability Awareness Month subcommittee members, Chris Richmond of the Personal Counseling Center on campus; Marie Yowtz, of the Counseling and Disability Services at Kendall College of Art and Design; and Megan Eppley, from University Advancement and Marketing, for their leadership in arranging the schedule.

“Kim Dickman and Cindy Smith with the Educational Counseling and Disabilities Services office have been invaluable in helping to arrange this enjoyable and meaningful roster of events, so that our campus and community might reflect on what is possible, on our campus and in this community,” Alexander said.

People with disabilities who may require special accommodations to attend Disability Awareness Month events can contact Ashley Hawley in the ECDS office at (231) 591-3940.