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Updated 11:00 AM October 9, 2006




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  Investing in Ability Week Oct. 23-27
U-M acquires Web site to help those with facial disfigurement

A Web site that provides information to individuals with facial disfigurements is being transferred to U-M, where its role will be enhanced through collaboration involving several units, including the School of Dentistry, the U-M Health System, Mott Children's Hospital and University Libraries.

The site, Let's Face It, ( currently is part of a nonprofit network with the same name established in 1987 by Betsy Wilson to help adults, teenagers and children cope with facial disfigurements. The site officially will be unveiled to the public Oct. 27 during Investing in Abilities Week.

Wilson will speak at the School of Dentistry from noon-1 p.m. that day in Room G378 on the topic "Facing Life with a Different Face." The public is invited to attend the free program.

Wilson, an early childhood educator, worked as a child life specialist with hospitals in four states. She lost part of her face and jaw to cancer in 1972 and is the parent of a child who was born with craniosynostosis, a premature fusion of the skull. A malady that affects about one in 3,000 children, craniosynostosis has been associated with myriad problems and can be a significant biomedical and financial burden for affected children and their parents.

The Web site will be redesigned and serve as a major clearinghouse for information on craniofacial abnormalities provided not only by the University, but other national and international groups. The U-M organizations will maintain, update and add new content to the site.

The site traditionally has supplied news about conferences and research studies; information about specific conditions such as Crouzon syndrome, Moebius syndrome, cancer, etc.; and names, addresses and Web sites of dozens of organizations and resources that parents or guardians, teenagers, educators, dentists, physicians and others can contact to learn more. It will be enriched with other helpful data, including information about a greater variety of conditions, resources for patients about the members of their craniofacial health care team and tips for how effectively to communicate with the team and resources for health professionals working with patients with facial differences.

"We're all very excited with the opportunity to build on Betsy's solid foundation," says Patricia Anderson, senior associate librarian at the School of Dentistry, who was instrumental in Wilson's decision to transfer the Web site to U-M.

This marks the 17th year in which the University, under the leadership of the Council for Disability Concerns, has sponsored educational programs and events designed to increase awareness of important disability issues. The activities are offered to promote a greater recognition of the skills and talents that people with disabilities contribute to the University and the greater society.

Investing in Ability Week highlights

Oct. 23

• "Dogs, dogs, dogs!" a chance to meet canines in training to be helpers for individuals with disabilities. 11 a.m.-1 p.m., U-M Hospital Courtyard, East Ann Arbor Health Center, the Diag and KMS Place, 3621 S. State St.

• "Exercise and Physical Fitness for the Elderly," lecture by Chris Eubank of Glacier Hills Retirement Center, 3-4 p.m., East Ann Arbor Health Center, Lower Conference Room, 4260 Plymouth Road.

• "Breaking Through the Silence," film about communicating with hard of hearing students followed by a panel discussion, 4-5:30 p.m., Kuenzel Room, Michigan Union

Oct. 24

• "Depression at Work: How It Affects Everyone," Dr. John Greden (director of the Depression Center ), former Detroit Lions quarterback Eric Hipple and panel. The physiology of and continuing stigma associated with depression are addressed, along with the experiences of those with depression at work and strategies for providing a respectful and supportive work environment. 10-11:30 a.m., Rackham Amphitheater (fourth floor)

• "They Shall Walk," Monty Reed of the They Shall Walk Foundation demonstrates his Lifesuit, a robotic device he believes will assist even quadriplegics to walk and climb stairs. 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., C.S. Mott Children's Hospital auditorium

• Adaptive Technology Computing Site open house, 1-4 p.m. through Oct.27, Room B-136, Shapiro Undergraduate Library

• "They Shall Walk," (see above) 4-5 p.m., Boulevard Room, Pierpont Commons

• "The Long Road Home II," film follows the journey of more than 30 disability rights activists who marched from Augusta to Atlanta to push for Georgia's compliance with the Supreme Court's Olmstead decision. A Q&A follows with U-M student Sarah Watkins, who was a participant in the march, 4-5:30 p.m., Wolverine Room, Michigan Union

Oct. 25

• "Exercise and Neurological Rehabilitation," Dr. Dan Ferris, Division of Kinesiology, 11 a.m.-noon, Kalamazoo Room, Michigan League

• "UMHS Disability Challenge" noon-1 p.m., University Hospital Triangle

• "Daily Challenges of People with Disabilities," Carolyn Grawi, Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living, 1-2 p.m., Conference Room, 700 KMS Place, 3621 S. State St.

• "Equal Opportunity for Persons with Disabilities in Employment and Higher Education" panel discussion, 4-5:30 p.m. Nursing Auditorium, Room 2C25, 300 North Ingalls Building

Oct. 26

• "Bicycle Camp," Dr. Dale Ulrich, Division of Kinesiology, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Kalamazoo Room, Michigan League

• "Bullying in the Workplace," Loraleigh Keashly, Department of Communication, Wayne State University, 1-3 p.m. Ford Auditorium, University Hospital

• "The Kids Are All Right, " documentary about a renegade Jerry's Kid named Mike Ervin, 4-5:30 p.m., Parker Room, Michigan Union

• "(dis)Ability in the Classroom" with the CRLT (Center for Research on Learning and Teaching) Players, 4-6 p.m., Room D, third floor, Michigan League

Oct. 27

• 10 a.m.-12 p.m Neubacher Award and Certificates of Appreciation Presentation Ceremony, preceded by refreshments at 9:30 a.m., Forum Hall, Palmer Commons

• "Facing Life with a Different Face" (see above) 12-1 p.m., School of Dentistry Room G378

• "Aging with Disability: a global perspective," Phillippa Clarke, Mary Beth Ofstedal and Robert Schoeni, from the Institute for Social Research, 2:30-4 p.m. followed by informal reception with refreshments, 1636 International Institute, 1080 S. University

• James T. Neubacher first Wheelchair Tip-Off Event Thunderbirds Wheelchair Basketball Team, 7:30 p.m., Pioneer High School Gym

For more details on these events go to

Sponsors for the week include: the Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living, Ann Arbor Commission on Disability Issues, College of Engineering Dean's Office, Council for Disability Concerns, Division of Kinesiology, Division of Student Affairs, Health Sciences Scholars Program, Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, International Institute, Kinesiology Student Government, Office of Institutional Equity, Office of Services for Students with Disabilities, Population Studies Center, CRLT, U-M Health System, U-M Initiative on Disability Studies and the School of Dentistry.

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