Indiana State University Newsroom

Media Advisory: Disability Awareness event at Indiana State University

March 21, 2006

WHAT: Indiana State University's primary observance of Disability Awareness Month (March), will involve an evening of hands-on activities and educational opportunities to make students and the community more aware of disabilities and the challenges that persons with disabilities face each and every day.

WHEN: March 22, 2006, from 3 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

WHERE: Indiana State University's Cunningham Memorial Library on North Seventh Street; Phone: (812) 237-3700

WHO: The event is sponsored by Indiana State University's Blumberg Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Special Education and the Cunningham Memorial Library at ISU.


3 to 5 p.m.
"Test drive" new voting machines for the visually impaired and ADA workstations with Pat Mansard, Vigo County Clerk, library associate Jean Flak and ISU alumnus Danny Beemer (well known Terre Haute disc jockey Danny Wayne), who is legally blind.

5:30 p.m.
ISU President Lloyd Benjamin will discuss disability awareness at ISU and will acknowledge Delta Sigma Omicron (DSO -- ISU's student advocacy organization for persons with disabilities) for its efforts on behalf of students and others with disabilities.

5:45 p.m.
Proclamation by Mayor Burke to DSO President Amy Harris

5:45 to 7:45 p.m.
Showing of "Warm Springs," an HBO Films Presentation, nominated for three Golden Globe Awards and 16 Emmys. The film will be shown in the ISU Library Browsing Area. The film takes a look at Franklin D. Roosevelt's pre-presidency days, from his being diagnosed with polio one year after his unsuccessful bid for the presidency, through his rehabilitation in Warm Springs, Ga., to his nomination of Al Smith for Democratic Presidential candidate in 1928.

7:45 p.m.
Closing speakers:

John Lentz, Director of ISU Recreational Sports, will talk briefly about awareness and accommodations for those with disabilities, particularly in regard to his work with Indiana Special Olympics on behalf of ISU; and

Don Rogers, associate professor of Recreation and Sport Management at ISU, will talk briefly 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.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- INDIANA STATE UNIVERSITY DISABILITY AWARENESS MONTH MEDIA SOURCES March is Disability Awareness Month for the state of Indiana, and Indiana State University has a lot of activities planned to further awareness of persons with disabilities on its campus. Below are ISU personnel, students, faculty and others you may want to contact about their disabilities or about working with persons with disabilities. For additional information, please contact Maria Greninger, associate director of Communications & Marketing at Indiana State, at (812) 237-4357 or

Mary Ellen Linn, director, Residential Life:
(812) 237-3993 or
Residence halls have American with Disabilities Act (ADA) rooms on each floor. The rooms are equipped with strobe lights, doorbells, special phones, bed shakers and roll-in showers. We added wheelchair access to the dining facilities in Mills/Cromwell. Just within the last month we added electronic gates to our ADA entrances at Lincoln quad. These controls also open their suite doors. Ground floor ADA suites are available on either side of Lincoln. We also have ADA restrooms on individual floors. We will continue to make upgrades as we do renovations.

Don Rogers, associate professor, Recreation and Sport Management:
812-237-3210 or
Available after 2:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays
Rogers was involved in a motorcycle accident in 1976, and has been in a wheelchair ever since. He also has been very active over the years advocating for people with disabilities. He and his students are in the process of sponsoring a wheelchair drive. The chairs are restored in correctional facilities and sent overseas. Rogers also could speak about a number of other disability-related issues such as accessibility, terminology, attitudes, quality of life.

Rita Worrall, director, Student Support Services, Disability Services
812-237-2300 or
Employed at ISU for 18 years as director of Student Support Services and Disabled Student Services, Worrall's office is the one designated to provide academic accommodations for ISU students with disabilities. Her specific areas of expertise include: the application of ADA and Section 504 to colleges and universities; student, faculty, and institutional responsibilities under ADA and Section 504; campus accessibility; transition of students with disabilities from high school to post-secondary education; differences between secondary and post-secondary disability laws; and networking at the state and federal levels for resources for students with disabilities.

Esther Acree, interim dean, ISU's College of Nursing:
(812) 237-3683 or 237-2323 or
The nursing profession has worked with other allied health care providers to provide quality nursing to the disabled in home care and acute care settings. Also, nursing is interested in nurses with disabilities---things that are used to assist nurses who have a disability or develop one. Ergonomics in nursing has become an important topic in professional organizations to prevent disabling injuries to the back, knees, etc. of nurses.

Susan Moss, director, Office of Diversity and Affirmative Action
812-237-2877 or
Moss is ISU's disability officer for employees. She worked with ISU's first graduate student who was blind last year, gaining much knowledge about disabilities and accessibility. "Because of the knowledge she brought with her from her previous institutions," Moss said, "we came to know about and to purchase JAWS - quite an awesome piece of software that translates text on a computer to audio." ISU's Office of Diversity and Affirmative Action purchased JAWS site licenses for this purpose. At the same time, ISU was able to set aside a small amount of funds specifically to acquire, as needed, adaptive software to assist students or employees with disabilities.

John Lentz, director, Recreational Sports:
(812) 237-4097 or
Makes accommodations for events such as the Special Olympics Summer Games, and the Indiana Men's Special Olympics Basketball Tournament (on campus March 24-26), which ISU has hosted for the past 20 years. Lentz was recently honored by Indiana Special Olympics for his many years of working with the organization and its athletes.

Bill Mercier, director, Public Safety:
(812) 2377829 or
Public Safety is often called upon to provide escorts for persons with disabilities or to provide other assistance to help them get around campus fairly frequently. They also enforce parking guidelines in regard to handicapped spaces. The office also has a TDD device in dispatch that enables them to receive 911 calls from the deaf/hearing impaired.

Robert Williams, dean, ISU's College of Education:
(812) 237-2919 or
He can speak to the College of Education's efforts to prepare special educators via its joint program with elementary education. This is a unique program that ensures the special educator is armed with appropriate skills, knowledge and abilities to address general education needs and special education, simultaneously. Williams can also discuss the College's efforts to assist regular education majors make the appropriate adjustments in classroom instruction when dealing with children or youth with special needs. Building awareness with this group of students is extremely important in order for them to meet the needs of ALL students.

Maurice (Maury) Miller, professor, special education, College of Education:
(812 237-2825 or
He also could speak to the College of Education's efforts to prepare special educators and the joint program with elementary education. This is a unique program that ensures the special educator is armed with appropriate skills, knowledge and abilities to address needs in general and special education simultaneously. He could also speak to the College's efforts to assist regular education majors in making the appropriate adjustments in classroom instruction when dealing with children with special needs.

Karen Goehl, Blumberg Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Special Education: Project director, Indiana Deafblind Services
(812) 237-2827 or
Goehl has served as project director for the Indiana Deafblind Services Project since 1988. She received the 2004 IN AER Award from the Indiana Chapter of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) as an outstanding educational professional serving persons with visual impairments. She serves as director of the Blumberg Center's Connections Project (includes Project Vision) as well as its Deafblind initiative. Editor of the Deafblind Focus, the Indiana Deafblind Services Newsletter, since 1992, Goehl also serves as consulting editor of Deafblind Perspectives (since 1993).

Katherine Betts, graduate student, Student Affairs:
(812) 237-3826 or
Betts is a graduate student in Student Affairs who is legally blind. She will graduate in May with a master's degree. She would serve as a great resource on what it's like to adapt to the environment and what has worked for her at ISU and elsewhere.

Myrna McCallister, dean, Cunningham Memorial Library:
(812) 237-3700 or
She can talk about library services which are supplied to persons with disabilities. McCallister also is involved on the planning committee for these Disability Awareness Month activities.


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

ISU Communications and Marketing: (812) 237-3773 or

Story Highlights

ISU's observance of Disability Awareness Month will involve many hands-on activities

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