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Documentary, talk mark Disability Awareness Month

Thursday, October 3, 2013

FREDERICK, Md.—Hood College will mark National Disability Employment Awareness Month Oct. 17 at 6:30 p.m. in Hodson Auditorium in Rosenstock Hall.

The event will feature a documentary about the experiences of two men with autism and a talk by a woman who experienced a near-fatal motor vehicle crash.

Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. The theme for 2013 is "Because We Are EQUAL to the Task."

Wretches & Jabberers is the story of Tracy Thresher and Larry Bissonnette who, as autistic adults, embark on a global quest to change attitudes about autism and intelligence. They travel to Sri Lanka, Japan and Finland to examine public attitudes about autism and advocate for all who suffer from this and other impairments. The film, a mixture of advocacy, personal portraits and adventure, offers insights into how people with autism understand and experience their own disabilities.

Hood student Eileen Rudnick will recount her experiences recovering from a severe traumatic brain injury following a head-on collision. She is the author of The Glass Between Us, a step-by step chronology of the grueling months and years of surgery, therapy and recovery that followed the accident.

NDEAM's roots go back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to "National Disability Employment Awareness Month." Upon its establishment in 2001, the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy assumed responsibility for NDEAM and has worked to expand its reach and scope ever since.

For more information, contact Kiran Chadda, director of multicultural affairs and international student programs, at kchadda@hood.edu.