Disability Mentor Day

1 decade 1 month 2 weeks ago Friday, October 26 2007 Oct 26, 2007 Friday, October 26, 2007 10:14:24 PM CDT October 26, 2007 in News

They shared their experiences at disability mentor day hosted by services for independent living. With 60% of disabled people not working, the event's focus was on mentoring.

"There is opportunity and what people for instance that use wheelchairs like myself need to do is roll through those doors of opportunity and take advantage of it," Jim De Jong, Americans with Disabilities Act Director, said.

De Jong says it's not about the disability, he says what's more important is education, personal drive and the opportunity other people give you.

MU's first blind residence hall coordinator, Jim Pelfrey, says a career assessment helped him find his strength.

"I know how difficult it was for me to find employment. I really have learned what works and what hasn't and I just definitely want to be able to share that with other people," Pelfrey said.

After lunch, everybody watched a little basketball. Like disabled employees, Steve Paxton, MU Wheelchair basketball coach, says his players have to overcome stereotypes to succeed.

"You'll be watching a professional game or college game and the commentators will talk - oh you know his legs are tired, his jump-shot is not there, well, we play the entire game without legs," said Paxton.

Senator Chuck Graham was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at Friday's event but cancelled.

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