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UTEP events celebrate Ability Awareness Week

The University of Texas at El Paso will celebrate the achievements of people with disabilities during its annual Ability Awareness Week celebration Monday through Friday, Oct. 5-9, 2015, at sites across campus.

The activities will begin with a keynote presentation about the history of the Americans with Disabilities Act by attorney Denette R. Vaughn of Disability Rights – Texas. The talk will be followed by a presentation of awards from UTEP’s Center for Accommodations and Support Services and the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services, and closing remarks from University President Diana Natalicio.

This year’s recognition is significant because 2015 marks the 25th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which committed the nation to eliminating discrimination against people with disabilities and helping them to lead more self-sufficient lives. Its impact on campus life includes curb cuts and accessible pathways, and accessible email messages and websites.

Among the week’s highlights is the wheelchair basketball exhibition game at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 5, in Memorial Gym. Organizers also have scheduled seminars about sensitivity training, the use of service animals, and inclusion and advocacy from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 6, in Union Building East; a resource fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 7, at Centennial Plaza; a technology support open house from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8, in the University Library, Room 300; and an interdisciplinary student research symposium focused on advancements that enhance the health and capabilities of people with disabilities from noon to 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9, in the TRCC.

For a complete list of planned events, visit

The activities coincide with October being National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Among the events’ sponsors are Goodwill Industries, the title sponsor, and Amerigroup, ReadyOne Industries, and Molina Health Care.

What: UTEP’s annual Ability Awareness Week opens with a keynote presentation about the 25-year history of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and recognition of campus and community honorees.

When: 8:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 5, 2015

Where: UTEP’s Tomás Rivera Conference Center on the third floor of Union Building East

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