• Disability Resources Display in Carrier Library
  • students playing wheelchair basketball
  • chef showing students how to prepare a healthy meal
  • individuals coloring as a way to de-stress
  • picture of a computer and training manual
Come celebrate JMU’s 9th annual Disability Awareness Week! This year’s theme, “Dukes Got Grit”, focuses on the importance of “discover[ing] your inner champion”, resiliency, and grit. It also aims to engage members of our community in conversations about disability, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility.
A variety of events are planned to raise the awareness, knowledge, skills, and actions necessary as we strive to be an inclusive community that values the richness of all individuals and perspectives. The following events are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated.
Please contact us at least one week prior to the event to request disability accommodations. In all situations, a good faith effort (up until the time of the event) will be made to provide accommodations.
Monday, March 26th

Open House

11:30am - 1:30pm

Office of Disability Services, SSC 1202

Come to our Open House in the Student Success Center to explore our office, eat some food, and complete our crossword puzzle for your chance to win a prize!  

Keynote Speaker: Tricia Downing

Speaker, Author, Athlete


Madison Union Ballroom

Join speaker, author, and athlete Tricia Downing as she shares her story of grit and resilience.

Transitioning from being a competitive cyclist to requiring a wheelchair for mobility, Tricia has faced adversity and redefined able to pursue her goals. Since her accident in 2000, Tricia has completed in over 100 races, ranging from marathons to triathlons and that is just the beginning! Tricia is also a Paralympian and author of Cycle of Hope- A Journey from Paralysis to Possibility. Additionally, she is the Director for Camp Discovery, a camp for women who utilize wheelchairs that want to explore fitness opportunities while becoming a support system for one another.

Today, she continues to take people on their journeys to find their own “inner champions”. Become part of this experience by hearing her story! Sign language interpreters and CART services will be provided.

a picture of Tricia Downing, the Keynote Speaker
Tuesday, March 27th

Self-Care Strategies

10:00am - 12:00pm

SSC 1075

Today’s event brought to you by ODS and the Counseling Center will allow you to experience and practice different self-care strategies including aromatherapy, deep breathing by blowing bubbles, various grounding techniques, coloring stations, creating your own buttons, and much more!

Post Workout Meal with Chef Jeff

3:00pm - 4:00pm


Join the D-Hub staff for this free event as they demonstrate how to cook an easy to prepare meal that is beneficial post workout. The meal will be prepared without the top-8 allergens and without gluten. Participants will receive a sample of the prepared meal, as well as information on how to optimize nutrition when increasing physical activity. For any questions, contact Hannah Jehring at jehrinhm@jmu.edu.

Growing Up Down's Movie Screening

5:00pm - 7:00pm

SSC 1075

Join us to view the Emmy nominated documentary, Growing Up Down’s! Aiming to redefine perceptions and explode the myths about Down’s Syndrome, this film follows a British company of young actors with Down’s Syndrome, as they create a touring production of Shakespeare's Hamlet.

Wednesday, March 28th

Talent Development Workshop: Discover Your Inner Champion (TD2291)

Presented by Tricia Downing, Executive Director, Speaker, Author, and Paralympian

9:00am - 10:30am

Wine-Price, Pathways Training Room

JMU faculty and staff, come discover how mental toughness can help you find control, commitment, challenge, confidence, and clarity. Known for her resiliency and positive spirit, Tricia Downing helps people and organizations learn to navigate the events and situations, which threated to take us out of the game, replacing anxiety, fear, and stress with confidence and hope. 

Register in MyMadison for TD2291.

Adaptive Rock Climbing

11am – 2pm

UREC, Adventure Center

JMU students, faculty, and staff are invited to drop in for an inclusive rock climbing opportunity! Learn about the safety systems, adaptive equipment, and techniques used at UREC’s indoor climbing walls. Athletic clothing suggested. No experience necessary.

WRTC Open Class Presentation

Personal Narrative and Rhetorical Practices in Disability Studies

2:30pm - 3:45pm

SSC 1075

Join Paralympian and Cycle of Hope author, Tricia Downing, as she discusses personal narrative and its role in disability rhetoric. Participants will be joining Dr. Susan Ghiaciuc and WRTC students for this intriguing discussion.

D.E.E.P. Impact Dialogue

Unpacking Inspiration: Finding Your Resilience and Grit


Madison Union Ballroom

Join DEEP Impact and ODS in a panel and dialogue event to learn more about how our ideas around inspiration affect the disability community.

Thursday, March 29th

Flashpoint: Disability Rights/Civil Rights on the Line

3:30pm - 4:45pm

SSC 4044

This flashpoint raises awareness of the real impact of current legislative proposals and other measures currently being debated. Participants will have the opportunity to learn, think, and talk about issues of disability rights.

Friday, March 30th

CAMMO Training

Creating Accessible Materials in Microsoft Office (IT160)

9:00am - 11:00am


JMU faculty and staff, learn to use the resources built into Microsoft Office 2016 to create materials that are accessible to people with disabilities.

Pre-register in MyMadison for IT160.

Wheelchair Basketball

12:00pm - 1:00pm

UREC, Mac Gym 1

JMU students, faculty, and staff are welcome to join us to play a pick-up game of wheelchair basketball!

Blindfold Yoga

1:30pm – 2:30pm

UREC, Mind Body Studio 1 (Room 385)

JMU students, faculty, and staff  of all fitness levels are welcome to attend blindfold yoga! Come experience yoga that requires you to focus on your body’s movements without utilizing sight, causing you to rely on your other senses. No registration necessary.

March 15th - April 15

Disability Resources Display

Carrier Library, First Floor

In honor of JMU’s 9th annual Disability Awareness Week, this display in Carrier Library features resources concerning disabilities, especially those that show grit! You will find everything from information on disability rights to personal stories and thought-provoking films. We hope this display provides you with a greater understanding of disability at JMU and in the world as a whole.

Tour of UREC

JMU students, faculty, and staff are invited to stop by UREC and request a tour to see what adaptive and inclusive equipment they have available!


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