Disability Awareness Month 2019

Disability Awareness Month is a national observance that celebrates successes of individuals who have not allowed disabilities to limit their futures while offering a local call for inclusivity and assistance for students in need of support and services.

The events include a free film screening of a documentary about autism and inclusion; an “all bodies” dance party; a “United Esports Tournament;” a frank discussion of sexual identity, relationships and disability; a gathering of service animals in the campus quad; and the “Skeleton Skurry,” an inclusive 5k run/walk/roll race in Big Rapids that is open people of all ages and abilities.

Activities About the Event
Deej Film Screening

Deej Film Screening
Deej Film Screening
Wednesday, October 9, 2019
Movie begins at 6 PM – Discussion to follow
University Center 213

Abandoned by his birth parents and presumed incompetent, DJ Savarese (“Deej”) found not only a loving family but also a life in words, which he types on a text-to-voice synthesizer. As he makes his way through high school and dreams of college, he confronts the terrors of his past, society's obstacles to inclusion, and the sometimes paralyzing beauty of his own senses. In his advocacy on behalf of other nonspeaking autistics, he embraces filmmaking and poetry, and discovers what having a voice can truly mean.

In this first-of-its-kind collaboration between a veteran filmmaker and a nonspeaking autistic, Robert Rooy and DJ Savarese share editorial control as they attempt to navigate the challenges of representing autism. Deej, the result of this often difficult partnership, is a story told largely from the inside, by DJ – not by his parents or autism experts or even the camera. At its core, Deej reflects the sort of participation that disability rights advocates insist upon: “Nothing about us without us.”

Free popcorn and refreshments provided.
All Bodies Dance Party

All Bodies Dance Party
All Bodies Dance Party
Thursday, October 10, 2019
11 to 11:30 AM
LGBTQ+ Resource Center, University Center

Join us for a half hour dance party in the LGBTQ+ Resource Center. With LGBTQueeriffic music, an area to chill out and refrain from dancing, feather boas and other fun accessories, and moves that can be done standing, sitting, or lying down, it will be a gay old time for people with all kinds of body sizes and shapes and abilities and disabilities. Led by Janitza Sawyer-Ocasio, our pal from the Social Work program who's also an accessible, body-positive dance instructor.
Unified EsportsTournament

Esports Unity Bowl
Unified EsportsTournament
Saturday, October 12, 2019
Registration Deadline: Friday, September 27, 2019
Check in at 10 AM – Matches start at 11 AM
University Center Ballroom

Open to Ferris State Students and Special Olympics Athletes

Ferris State University is partnering with Special Olympics Michigan Area 5 to host a Unified Esports Experience as part of Disability Awareness Month. If you would like to attend and participate in this tournament, please click on the link below and submit your response. All participants are asked to provide their own gaming console or equipment. Once registered, Ferris State and Special Olympics will be in contact with details as to games being played, etc. The Unified Esports Experience Code of Conduct will apply.

Form Link:  https://forms.gle/Mtkfct7rTmGKPvvr7

Contact Area 5 Director Pat Rosales with any questions via email at: [email protected]
Flirting with Disability

Flirting with Disability
Flirting with Disability
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Doors open at 5:30 PM – Panel discussion at 6 PM
University Center Ballroom A

Join FSU alumna and social media guru Melissa Divietri as she hosts a panel of guests ready to talk sexual identity, relationships and disability. Sarah Doherty, LGBTQ+ Resource Center Coordinator, will join the panel.

Join the conversation at #FLIRTINGFSU

Food and fun in IRC Connector directly before event.
Companions in the Quad

Companions in the Quad
Companions in the Quad
Thursday, October 24, 2019
11 AM to 1 PM
Campus Quad
Pre-registration is required

A community building event for the staff, students and faculty who have registered emotional support animals, registered assistance animals, registered companion animals, or service animals. Held outdoors, this event is open only to animals that are registered with Ferris State University as one of the two above qualifiers, and also only to individuals who pre-register their companion for the event. Drop-ins will not be allowed. Participating animals must be leashed, well socialized and waste must be picked up by owners. Any participants violating those terms will be asked to leave the event. Although open only to animals that have pre-registered for this event, attendees from the public are welcome but may not bring their pets.

Non-profit Beer City Dog Biscuits in Grand Rapids will be providing dog biscuit samples for this event, and the Educational Counseling and Disability Services Department will be providing awareness education pertaining to service and assistance animals.

The link to pre-register is:  https://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050A4CA4AD29A6FA7-companions
Skeleton Skurry Inclusive 5K

Skeleton Skurry Inclusive 5K

Skeleton Skurry Inclusive 5K
Saturday, October 26, 2019
Big Rapids City Hall, 226 N. Michigan Ave.
Onsite registration from 7 to 9 AM – Race begins at 9 AM

This is an established, course-certified, fully accessible 5K race and is open to people of all ages and abilities. The race begins and ends at Big Rapids City Hall. Entry fee is $30 for pre-registered athletes and $35 for athletes who register on the day of the event. Pre-registration can be done online at the link below or by stopping into the Pioneer Group (115 N. Michigan Avenue. Big Rapids). Prizes will be awarded for the Top 3 finishers and best costumes. You must be a registered Skeleton Skurry participant to win.

Traffic will be stopped for safe road crossings as necessary. If you are visually impaired and require guide services, please contact Maggie Walcott at 231-591-3942 so that we have time to arrange those services for you.

Questions? Email [email protected]

Pre-register online for this Run-Walk-Roll event at news.pioneergroup.com/bigrapidsnews/skeleton5k/

For more information or to request special accommodations, please contact Maggie Walcott at [email protected].