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October 22, 2002

Students learn what it's like to be disabled

From: Hernando Today, FL
Oct. 22, 2002


St. Leo University students will be wheelchair-bound to learn what it is like to be disabled.

Students will go through a set of challenges engineered by the college's disability division that help them learn what it is like to be blind, deaf, disabled or unfamiliar with the English language.
The Challenge Experience will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at the school's McDonald Center.
Spending several hours in someone else's shoes is only one of many activities planned this week to promote awareness and understanding of the disabled as part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October.
For the first time this year, St. Leo University has a blind female freshman student on campus, said Jenifer LeBeau, college spokesperson. "I think there's been increased awareness of the disabled as a result."
The school has a growing international student body, with students from 18 other countries, LeBeau said. As a result, part of disability week will focus on understanding students who speak English as a second language.
Monday, students Monday played a game of blind-beep softball, where blindfolded students attempted to hit a softball located only by its beeping sound. They also tried to catch and throw the ball.
Other activities at the school will include a student-faculty panel discussion Wednesday at the Grind Coffeehouse following a 6 p.m. showing of the movie "Cathedral."
At 1:30 p.m. Thursday, blind movie critic Jay Forry, who airs his review on 23 radio stations, will talk about his life and personal challenges at the school's Lion's Lounge.
Throughout the week, the Student Affairs Values Committee and two clubs, the International Student Association (ISA) and the Samaritans, will lead a fundraiser to collect money for the Center for Independence for disabled people in San Antonio, in Pasco County.

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