Kent State University Marks disAbility Awareness Month

Kent State University students enjoy the company of a therapy dog. Dogs on Campus Pet Therapy Program, which offers an opportunity to relieve stress while working with certified therapy dogs, will visit the first floor lobby in the Kent Student Center as part of activities marking disAbility Awareness Month.Kent State University’s Student Accessibility Services (SAS) invites faculty, staff, students and other members of the community to celebrate disAbility Awareness Month during the month of October in an effort to highlight the wide-ranging abilities of people who may otherwise be considered "disabled." The word disAbility is intentionally spelled with a lowercase d and a capital letter A to emphasize ability.

On Tuesday, Oct. 15, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Dogs on Campus Therapy Program, which offers an opportunity to relieve stress while working with certified therapy dogs, will visit the first floor lobby in the Kent Student Center. The program was developed by Kathy Adamle, Ph.D., faculty member in Kent State’s College of Nursing. Adamle’s research shows that many students consider their pets to be part of their families and that leaving home and their pet can add to the usual stress of any college student.

The month's featured event, Handicap This!, will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the Kent Student Center Ballroom. The performance features Mike Berkson and Tim Wambach, founding members of Handicap This! Berkson is an inspirational leader of the Keep On Keeping On Foundation, and an aspiring filmmaker and novelist, who was born with cerebral palsy. Wambach is lead actor and production manager of Handicap This! and president of the Keep On Keeping On Foundation. These inspiring friends educate, inspire, combat ignorance, break down barriers and wake up attitudes. Since debuting the production in 2010, more than 40,000 people have witnessed this amazing true story. They have been hired by high schools, colleges, universities and corporations to bring diversity and inclusion to the forefront. In this 78-minute journey, you will experience an entertaining message of possibilities. Interested participants can register for free admission today at

Attend the panel discussion on Oct. 23 at 5 p.m., titled “Access Denied: The Intersection of Disability and Sexuality” at Room 310 in the Kent Student Center. This event is sponsored in conjunction with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Student Center’s Queering History Series. This event promises to offer open dialogue about subjects that are all too often taboo.

Head over to Dix Stadium on Oct. 26 and watch the Kent State vs. University of Buffalo football game. The Kent State Athletics and the disAbility Awareness Committee are teaming up to welcome community guests and students registered with Student Accessibility Services to tailgate beginning at 2:30 p.m. The game starts at 3:30 p.m. Students and guests are invited to help create a tunnel on the field for the Kent State football team and interact with members of the Kent State Athletic Department. Community guests and registered students with Student Accessibility Services must RSVP to by Oct. 18 for reserved tickets and a coupon for two free pieces of pizza.

The following offices helped make this year’s disAbility Awareness Month possible: the Division of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, University Health Services, the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Center for Student Involvement, Intercollegiate Athletics, Residence Services and the Office of Health Promotion/Active Minds.

For a complete listing of all events marking disAbility Awareness Month, visit

For questions about any of these events, contact Shannon Cowling at 330-672-3611 or For campus accessibility questions, contact Jackie Gee at 330-672-8667 or American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters will be available at all events.

POSTED: Monday, October 14, 2013 - 12:00am
UPDATED: Wednesday, April 15, 2015 - 10:51am
University Communications and Marketing