The other side of disability

 

The rattle of wheelchair wheels and the pounding of a basketball on cement echoes Monday as students join in the RLA event, In Someone Else’s Shoes.

At first glance one may have thought students were just out enjoying the weather and company, but at a closer look one begins to notice strange additions to common games.

A game of two-on-two basketball is occurring, but two of the participants are in wheelchairs. Passing, blocking, and dribbling are more difficult for someone who plays on two feet normally, and then tries to play in a wheelchair. Participants seemed to enjoy the game and left with  knowledge of how difficult it is.

Marci Luton, 19, sophomore of Grand Island, throws a kickball Monday for blind water pong. —Photo by Teri Robinson

Marci Luton, 19, sophomore of Grand Island, throws a kickball Monday for blind water pong. —Photo by Teri Robinson

Mute soccer was another activity students could join if they wanted to test their skills and trust their teammates. No words could be used during the game to yell where to kick the ball.

One of the more challenging events was life-size water pong because participants were blindfolded before throwing the kickball into the buckets. Games of two-on-two took place west of the basketball courts with garbage can size buckets and two kickballs. Not only was it a task to aim and throw the ball into a bucket, but opponents had to pay attention to where the ball was thrown so they did not get hit.

The last event students could join was deaf sand volleyball. Each team had to communicate with each other by pointing and watching where the ball went. Instead of yelling “Got it,” they had to keep an eye on the ball and their teammates so they would not collide.

Each event was played to show students how people with disabilities participate in different activities. The event was to help promote blindness, leg impairments, deafness, and speech impairments.

“People don’t really pay attention to diversity,” Lexis Ferguson, sophomore of Casper, Wyoming, said. “Most of the time they think of cultural diversity, but a disability is as diverse as if someone were from Spain.”

With four different activities and prize drawings, many students saw the fun and joined in.

“I thought it was fun,” Osmotherly said. “Wheelchair basketball was difficult and I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to be in one all the time.”

Many agree that it is an event they wish to participate in the future and agreed that it helped raise awareness for disabilities.

fastFACTS

Learning disabilities are the most common disabilities at CSC. The least common disabilities include blind and deaf students because they usually attend a school that is designed to fit their specific needs.

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, Chadron State College has the legal obligation to have the reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities.

Students who want accommodations for their disabilities must go through CSC’s Licensed Professional Counselor Jerry Cassiday, located on the garden level of Crites. They must provide clinical documentation, which Cassiday will evaluate to see if the document meets the purposes and is reasonably current.

Staff in K-12 schools have the duty to recognize students disabilities and adjust certain aspects of the students daily school tasks. In post secondary and work place situations, the individual has the responsibility to request accommodations for a disability.

 

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