Sep 28, 2011

FAU offers events to gain first-hand experience of what it's like to live with a disability.

JUPITER — Florida Atlantic University will host a series of events to commemorate Disability Awareness Month throughout October. These events will offer several opportunities for students to gain first-hand experience of what it is like to live with a disability.

“Students with disabilities are fully capable of living an independent lifestyle through services such as ours,” said Nicole Rokos, director of the Office for Students with Disabilities at FAU. “For non-disabled students, learning about differences and disabilities is part of a well-rounded education. College students are our future workforce. By exposing them to differences, we are helping them develop the understanding needed to embrace people with disabilities throughout their work and personal life.”

More than 650 FAU students currently are registered with FAU’s Office for Students with Disabilities, where staff provide students with documented disabilities the academic support services and accommodations they need to give them equal access to all the academic programs at FAU.

The Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) within FAU’s College of Education is another center on campus that provides support and assistance with the goal of optimizing the potential of people with autism and related disabilities. Stand Among Friends Disability Center, located on FAU’s Boca Raton campus within the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, provides crucial information that people with disabilities need to improve their quality of life, a computer lab that features many technology devices and a disability employment program.

Along with the Office for Students with Disabilities, the events are sponsored by several FAU organizations, including Campus Recreation, CARD, FAU Program Board, Owls Supporting Diversity (OSD) Club, and Stand Among Friends.

The following events will take place at FAU’s Boca Raton campus, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus, unless otherwise noted:

Wheels to the Net

Wheelchair Basketball

Thursday, Oct. 6, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Lynn University, 3601 N. Military Trail, Boca Raton

Wheels to the Net is a highly energetic, fast-paced wheelchair basketball tournament. FAU students will have the opportunity to experience playing basketball while using a wheelchair. Two FAU teams consisting of six players each will compete against Lynn University teams. Wheelchairs and coaching from a wheelchair basketball expert will be provided. For more information, contact Joshua Glanzer at 561-237-7761 or

Goalball Presentation and Competition

Tuesday, Oct. 11, beginning at 6 p.m.

FAU Recreation and Fitness Center

Goalball is a team sport designed for athletes with visual impairments. Players will be blindfolded for this awareness activity. Participants compete in teams of three and try to throw a ball with bells embedded in it into the opponents’ goal. The participants must use the sound of the bell to judge the position and movement of the ball. A presentation and coaching will be provided by a U.S. Paralympic goalball team member who participated in the Athens and Beijing Olympic Games. For more information, contact Lynn Jackson at 561-297-3880 or

Diversability Dinner

Thursday, Oct. 20, beginning at 4 p.m.

Grand Palm Room, Student Union

Students will be assigned a disability and will live out that disability throughout the dinner. If a student assumes the role of someone who is visually impaired, for example, a blindfold will be placed over his or her eyes. If a student is assigned a physical impairment, he or she may be placed in a wheelchair. Discussion groups will be facilitated by the OSD Club and the Office for Students with Disabilities. For more information, contact Lynn Jackson at 561-297-3880 or

“Soul Surfer”

Tuesday, Oct. 25, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Carole and Barry Kaye Auditorium, FAU Student Union

“Soul Surfer” is an inspiring movie based on the true story of teen surfer Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm in a shark attack and courageously overcame all odds to become a champion again. A directed discussion facilitated by FAU’s director of Counseling and Psychological Services will take place after the movie. A special door prize will be awarded. For more information, contact Lynn Jackson at 561-297-3880 or

Homecoming 5K Run/Walk

Sunday, Oct. 30, beginning at 5:15 p.m.

FAU Track & Field Complex

The Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at FAU will host the 2011 Homecoming 5K Run/Walk. The 5K will begin at 5:15 p.m., a one-mile fun run/walk will begin at 6:15 p.m., and a run for children ages 8 and younger will begin at 6:30 p.m. The public is welcome to register at or in person at The Runner’s Edge, 3195 N. Federal Highway in Boca Raton, from Thursday, Oct. 21 through Saturday, Oct. 29. FAU students can register for free by Thursday, October 27 at noon at FAU students who miss the pre-registration deadline may register on race day for $20. For more information, contact Ali Cunningham at 561-297-4247 or