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New York Times Best-Selling author Rachel Simon to speak in Reno as part of Disability Awareness Month


block_n-9812800-1276962The University of Nevada, Reno, the Disability Resource Center and Wolf Pack Athletics are honored to host a special evening with Rachel Simon, award-winning author of the New York Times bestsellers The Story of a Beautiful Girl and Riding the Bus with My Sister. Simon is recognized nationally for her work on issues related to diversity and disability.

The community is invited to the free lecture and reception with Simon on Monday, Oct. 21 from 7-8 p.m., in Legacy Hall on the University of Nevada, Reno campus. A book signing will be held after the lecture as part of the evening. Parking is available in the Brian J. Whalen Parking Complex just south of Lawlor Events Center on N. Virginia St.
Simon is the author of six books, and her work has been adapted for theater, NPR, the Lifetime Channel and Hallmark Hall of Fame. Her awards include the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Tommy G. Thompson Award for Contributions to the Field of Disability. Her book Riding the Bus with My Sister, about her sister’s life and the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, celebrates its 10th anniversary in print this year. The book is a frequent selection of school reading programs and was adapted as a film starring Rosie O’Donnell and Andie McDowell and directed by Anjelica Houston.
As part of its annual observance of National Disability Awareness Month, the University of Nevada, Reno hosts free diversity events and lectures during Octorber and November to increase awareness, accessibility and opportunities for people with disabilities within the University community and throughout the region.
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 Disability Awareness Month 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.
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.
For more information about Rachel Simon and her work, visit http://www.rachelsimon.com . 
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/drc . 
National Disability Awareness Month events at the University of Nevada, Reno are sponsored and supported by Access Ingenuity; Associated Students of the University of Nevada; City of Reno; Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advocacy Resource Center; Disability Awareness Coalition; Nevada Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities; Joe Crowley Student Union; Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities; Nevada Department of Education; Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation; Nevada Volunteers; Nevada Wolf Shop (formerly ASUN Bookstore); Northern Nevada Center for Independent Learning; The Note-Ables; Sprint Nextel; Truckee Meadows Community College; Western Nevada College; and the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) and University departments including Athletics; Disability Resource Center; Disability Resource Coalition; Enrollment Services; Extended Studies; Office of the President; Office of the Provost; and Presidential Diversity Committees.
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