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Sixth annual Assistive Technology Fair showcases state-of-the-art devices for people with disabilities

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University of Nevada, Reno invites community to explore “hands-on” demonstrations and exhibits at campus fair, Nov. 10

As part of its annual observance of National Disability Awareness Month, the University of Nevada, Reno hosts free diversity events and lectures through November to increase awareness, accessibility and opportunities for people with disabilities within the University community and throughout the region.

The University’s 6th Annual Assistive Technology Fair (formerly called the Accommodations Fair) will be held on Thursday, Nov. 10, from 3-5 p.m., in the Joe Crowley Student Union Ballroom, on the University of Nevada, Reno campus. The fair is open to the community as well as for University and Washoe County School District students, staff and faculty. The AT Fair showcases state-of-the-art assistive technology and offers participants the opportunity to explore hardware and software through “hands-on” demonstrations at exhibit booths. Exhibitors and vendors will be available to answer questions and share expertise. The event is free and open to the public. More than 300 attendees participated in the fair in 2010.

National studies have shown that one freshman in 11 entering higher education each year will have a documented disability. The University of Nevada, Reno Disability Resource Center, which opened in 1996 and coordinates the University’s annual events, provides year-round services to more than 880 students with disabilities. An interpreter for the deaf is available at all University events. Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations are encouraged to call the Disability Resource Center.

Disability Awareness Month 2011 events at the University of Nevada, Reno will also include:

An Evening with Temple Grandin
Presented by the University of Nevada, Reno and The Autism Coalition of Nevada
Monday, Nov. 28, 7-8 p.m. * Nightingale Concert Hall, Church Fine Arts Building, University of Nevada, Reno campus
Best-selling author Temple Grandin has been recognized as a leader in both the animal welfare and autism advocacy movements, and was named in the 2010 TIME Magazine 100 list of the most influential people in the world in the “Heroes” category. As an adult with Asperger’s Syndrome, Grandin has lectured around the world regarding autism and early intervention. She is the inventor of the hug machine (based on her own experiences), which is designed to produce a calming effect on persons with hypersensitivity to sensory information. Named to the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame, Grandin is also a renowned designer of humane livestock handling equipment in use in roughly half the cattle facilities in North America. She is currently a professor of animal science at Colorado State University.
FREE, with booksigning and reception to follow

In 1945, U.S. Congress designated the first week of October as National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week, with the aim of helping disabled veterans. The word “physically” was later removed to recognize the needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In the 1970s, a shift in public policy led to further amendments fueled by the belief that discriminatory acts of exclusion and segregation against people with disabilities should be addressed through the courts. As a result, the U.S. saw passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 and the designation, by presidential proclamation, of a full month to increase public awareness and acknowledge the capabilities of the 30 million people of working-age in the U.S. who live with disabilities.

National Disability Awareness Month events at the University of Nevada, Reno are sponsored and supported by Associated Students of the University of Nevada; Disability Awareness Coalition; Nevada Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities; Joe Crowley Student Union; Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities; Nevada Department of Education; The Autism Coalition of Nevada; Nevada Wolf Shop (formerly ASUN Bookstore); University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) and University departments including Disability Resource Center; Disability Resource Coalition; Enrollment Services; Extended Studies; Office of the President; Office of the Provost; and Presidential Diversity Committees.

For more information about the University of Nevada, Reno Disability Awareness Month events, or the University’s initiatives and services for people with disabilities, call Mary Anne Christensen at the Disability Resource Center, (775) 784-6000, email [email protected], or visit http://www.unr.edu/stsv/slservices/drc .

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