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June 7, 2003


From: Bristol Evening Post, UK - Jun 7, 2003

A Fair will be staged at Bristol's College Green to celebrate the European Year of Disabled People. The free-of-charge event will take place on Monday from 2pm to 6pm and will include a variety of events involving both disabled and able-bodied people.

A bowling team of visually-impaired players will challenge interested passers-by to have a go, and there will be disabled canoeing in the moat.

Bristol's Elmfield School for Deaf Children will perform a signed version of the city's favourite read, Treasure Island.

Deaf circus performers will entertain the crowds, encouraging audience participation, and there will be drama, music and signed poetry performances throughout the afternoon.

The Singing Voices choir, which features people with learning difficulties and local residents from Shirehampton, will perform a number of songs, including five of their own composed on the theme of 'changing world'.

The fair is sponsored by Bristol City Council and disability insurer Unum Provident through its New Beginnings campaign.

The event will be opened by the Lord Mayor of Bristol, Councillor Bill Martin, New Beginnings patron Baroness Greengross and Jon Amos, who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in his wheelchair.

The Lord Mayor said: "It promises to be a fun and informative afternoon and I would encourage as many people as possible to come along and join in the proceedings."

Mr Amos said: "This event can not only break down antiquated barriers by raising awareness of what people with a disability can achieve but it can also inspire people with disabilities to push forward their own barriers.

"Everyone should take a step back and look at what they do have in life and not what they don't have, not to say 'I can't' when they may not have even tried."

There will also be around 30 stalls providing refreshments as well as information and advice on local organisations which offer support and facilities for disabled people.

Equipment for disabled people will also be on display for fair visitors to view and try out.

Bristol has been chosen as the only stop-off point in the South West for the European campaign bus, which will provide information about campaigns and events for disabled people taking place throughout Europe.

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