Occupational Therapy Students Hold \"All-Skate\" Event for Disabled

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COLUMBIA - Two University of Missouri-Columbia Occupational Therapy students held an All-Skate Event at Empire Roller Rink for people with disabilities and their families on Sunday.  It was part of a class requirement to create an event involving the Columbia community.

The event was open to anyone who's family is touched by a disability.

"It's an event we have set up for families with disabilities and that's not just kids with disabilities, like a lot of programs in Columbia are. We wanted to reach out to a larger audience and include families as well. So, parents with disabilities or cousins, aunts, uncles whoever, we wanted the whole family to come along," said Jen Stem, one of the students involved and event organizer.

The students said they altered the feel of the roller rink to make it more accessible for the guests.

"We keep the lights dimmed, so we can see to move around and what the kids are doing, and then keep the sound down so it's not too much and no strobe lights, no disco lights, that's a little too much for some kids. And then they're just free to do what they want," said Sarah Twenter, the other student involved.

The idea came from the "Super Saturdays!" event they hold at Hollywood Theatres on Saturdays, where they also alter the lights and sound levels for participants with sensory integration problems.

Twenter and Stem said the turnout was greater than expected and hope to hold another event like it soon.