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Updated 3:00 PM October 12, 2005




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Investing in Ability Week Oct. 24-Nov. 1

The University will celebrate the multi-faceted community of people with disabilities and their contributions to society with informational lectures, speakers and workshops during the 16th annual Investing in Ability Week Oct. 24-Nov. 1.

Endeavoring to spotlight the rich human diversity that characterizes the U-M community, organizers hope to convey a gentle truth about those with disabilities: that they, much like the rest of society, really are just people who do what they must in order to reach for a better life.

“We have a variety of topics that we feature so that we can reach the diverse interests of the community,” says Doug White, University Housing senior advisor and vice chair of the Council for Disability Concerns.

Council members hope the events will entice diverse perspectives and encourage students, faculty, staff and members of the community from all backgrounds to celebrate the achievements of those with disabilities, while creating awareness for their situation as ordinary people under extraordinary circumstances, White says.

Tony Coelho, author of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), chair of the Epilepsy Foundation, and former congressman, will deliver the keynote address entitled, “Disability Issues and the ADA,” at 4:10 p.m. Oct. 24 in Auditorium 4 of the Modern Languages Building.

Dr. David R. Gater Jr., assistant professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Spinal Cord Injury Medicine at U-M also will give a talk entitled, “Disability and Stem Cell Research” at noon Oct. 25 in Forum Hall (Room 4025) of Palmer Commons.

“Stem cell research has important implications for disability issues,” White says. “It is an issue that has increasingly been on people’s minds.”

The Center for Research Learning and Teaching (CRLT) Players theater troupe will highlight the issues, struggles and dynamics of disability issues within the classroom context at 4 p.m. Oct. 27 in the CRLT Seminar Room in Palmer Commons.

The award-winning documentary, “Murderball,” a film about rugby players that overcame significant obstacles to compete in the Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece, will be shown at 7:30 Oct. 27 at the Michigan Theater.

The week’s events also will honor the recipient of the 6th annual James Neubacher Award. Carey Larabee, a U-M alumnus who has raised awareness and consciousness about those with disabilities within the community through his love for sports, will receive the award at 10 a.m. Oct. 28 in the Michigan Room of the Michigan League. The award was established in 1990 as a memorial to Neubacher, a U-M alumnus and columnist for the Detroit Free Press who spent much of his life advocating for equal rights and opportunities for people with disabilities.

For more information and a complete list of events, visit:

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