SBU Commemorates National Disability Awareness Month

HNP Communications Around the Province

ALLEGANY, N.Y. — St. Bonaventure University is celebrating the 18th annual National Disability Awareness Month in October with several events including a family fun walk, a children’s contest and a forum. The theme this year is “Positive Images of People with Disabilities.”

St. Bonaventure’s Disability Support Services and the Diversity Action Committee will be sponsoring a number of events to extend disability awareness and raise money to support the cause. Through the celebration, the groups hope to spread positive images of people with disabilities in the family, in the community and in the media.

The first main event sponsored by the university is a contest involving art and writing for school-aged children.

Rollerblades, scooters, bikes, wheelchairs, and, of course, walking shoes may all be used to participate in the Disability Awareness Month Two-Mile Family Fun Walk on Oct. 15.

The walk, which begins at 10 a.m. at Plassman Hall, will be followed by a Chinese auction, raffles, children’s activities and a band. All of the school contest submissions received will be displayed during this time. A TV personality from WKBW will emcee the events. In addition, there will be tables set up by local agencies providing information about their services to children, youth and adults with disabilities

The third major event is an open forum concerning images of disability in the media. This discussion is scheduled for Oct. 19 in the John J. Murphy professional building. National seminar speaker Susan LoTempio, pictured, will host a discussion on how the media can improve coverage of disability issues. LoTempio, an assistant managing editor at The Buffalo News, teaches writing at Medaille College in Buffalo.

Information about these events is available through Dr. Barbara Trolley at

All proceeds collected through the month’s events will benefit Hunter’s Hope, Special Olympics, and the ReHabilitation Center of Olean. Hunter’s Hope, founded by former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly, spreads awareness of Leukodystrophy, a fatal nervous system disease. Special Olympics provides sports training and athletic competition for more than two million people with disabilities. The ReHabilitation Center offers comprehensive services for people with disabilities, including residential services and life-skills.