Indiana State University Newsroom

ISU recognized for disability awareness efforts

October 26, 2006

Indiana State University has been selected by the Indiana Governor's Council for People with Disabilities to receive its first Community Spirit Award in the organizational category for its extensive disability awareness campaign.

Those involved in making the ISU Disability Awareness Month events a success included staff from ISU's Blumberg Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Special Education and Cunningham Memorial Library as well as Delta Sigma Omicron (DSO) members, and many others.

Some representatives of the planning committee will accept the award on behalf of Indiana State at a Nov. 17 ceremony at the downtown Indianapolis Westin Hotel. Those attending will be Marlene Lu from the Blumberg Center and Carol Jinbo from Cunningham Library, along with student Amy Harris on behalf of DSO, ISU's student advocacy organization for persons with disabilities.

The Community Spirit Award was established to acknowledge the many individuals and organizations that have taken leadership roles in promoting March as Disability Awareness Month during the 16 years that it has been celebrated in Indiana.

Indiana State is being recognized for organizing an exemplary Disability Awareness campaign: "An Expansion of Perspectives," which was a series of seven major events in celebration of Disability Awareness Month (March 2006) and involved the entire ISU campus and the Terre Haute community.

Some of the events from the month's festivities included:
● "Try on a Disability" an annual event sponsored by Delta Sigma Omicron;
● A "test drive" of new voting machines for the visually impaired and ADA workstations;
● Proclamation by Terre Haute Mayor Kevin Burke to DSO President Amy Harris;
● President Lloyd Benjamin recognizing DSO for disability awareness efforts on campus and in the community;
● A free showing of "Warm Springs," an HBO Films Presentation, nominated for three Golden Globe Awards and 16 Emmys. The film takes a look at Franklin D. Roosevelt's pre-presidency days and his battle with polio;
● A presentation by Don Rogers, associate professor of recreation and sport management at ISU, about life in a wheelchair since his 1976 motorcycle accident and his personal obstacles and successes. Rogers carried the Olympic Torch through Terre Haute en route to the games in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 2002;
● A free film series including movies with disability themes, such as Sound and the Fury," "Miracle Worker," "Rain Man" and others;
● ISU's hosting of the Indiana Special Olympics Men's State Basketball Tournament; and
● A listing of ISU contacts available to talk to the media either about a personal disability or about ways in which they serve persons with disabilities at ISU.

"Your work has truly changed attitudes and enhanced the perception of the value and contributions of people with disabilities in your community," said the Council in its congratulatory letter to ISU. "Your example sets a high standard for future awards winners."

Plans are in the works for events related to Disability Awareness Month 2007. Persons interested in partnering with Indiana State on these initiatives are encouraged to contact Marlene with the Blumberg Center at (812) 237-2842 or


CONTACTS: Christine Dahlberg, associate director of the Indiana Governor's Council for Persons with Disabilities, (317) 232-7774 or; or Marlene Lu, Blumberg Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Special Education, (812) 237-2842 or

WRITER: Maria Greninger, associate director, Communications & Marketing, Indiana State University, (812) 237-4357 or

Story Highlights

Indiana State University has been selected by the Indiana Governor's Council for People with Disabilities to receive its first Community Spirit Award for its extensive disability awareness campaign. Partners in this project were Blumberg Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Special Education, Cunningham Memorial Library and Delta Sigma Omicron.

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