OrangeAbility: Let’s All Play Accessible Athletics
Members of the Syracuse University and Central New York communities are invited to participate in Syracuse University’s fourth annual Accessible Athletics Expo, “OrangeAbility.” This student-led initiative is sponsored by the Disability Student Union, the Beyond Compliance Coordinating Committee, the Disability Cultural Center (DCC), Department of Recreation Services and community organization Move Along Inc., with support from School of Education Office of the Dean and the Burton Blatt Institute. The event will take place on March 28 from 1-4 p.m. in Flanagan Gymnasium. It is free and open to the public.
Participants will have the chance to play and experience wheelchair basketball, power soccer, sled hockey and more. Drop-ins are welcome on the day of the event, while sign-ups for organized or informal teams are encouraged through the event website.
In addition, attendees will be able to visit with local community-based organizations and SU student groups at the expo. Local businesses and organizations that align with a wide array of diversity areas interested in tabling at the event are welcome, and should register in advance online.
“OrangeAbility is such a fun event,” says Disability Student Union President and event co-chair Christy Kalebic. “It really brings together the school and the community in an accessible and inclusive space to enjoy our shared love of sports. The different equipment to try is a blast, and everyone has a great time jamming out to music and trying out accessible sports. My favorite memory from last year’s event was when the Quidditch team came and we played wheelchair Quidditch! The way sports and recreation brings people together is such a good experience and everyone always has a good time.”
OrangeAbility allows people who are able-bodied or have a disability to enjoy sports that are tailored for a wide variety of players. The afternoon activities will celebrate an array of disability cultures and identities, providing a safe space for all to feel welcome and comfortable. It is an event that highlights the legacy and growing vibrancy of the disability community on and off the SU Hill.
“We’re so excited to bring inclusive sport and recreation to SU for the fourth annual expo,” says SU student Eddie Zaremba, a member of the event planning committee and co-founding past president of the Disability Student Union. “This year we have both familiar and new activities to look forward to, as enhanced collaborations across campus and beyond will make OrangeAbility 2015 better than ever! Whether you’re a seasoned vet or a newcomer to accessible and adapted sport, we hope you’ll come out to try out a chair or handcycle, watch a wheelchair basketball demo or enjoy the official quad rugby match between Rochester, N.Y., and Ottawa, Canada!”
Community partner Move Along will be facilitating the accessible athletic events, joined by other local and regional organizations that specialize in an array of accessible sports. Part of this organization’s ongoing work is to provide the necessary resources through athletics to enable youth and adults to excel.
“Move Along has successfully established itself as a sustainable organization to help those with physical limitations meet their maximum potential in our communities through the use of sports as a way to provide mentoring, coaching and teaching of life skills,” says Gregory Callen, founder and executive director of Move Along. “Partnerships with the Disability Cultural Center and Syracuse University allow us to maximize resources in our community to improve the quality of life of everyone in our society, as the target population for inclusion athletics is everyone!”
American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreters will be on-site. Free parking is available at the venue.
For more information, questions, or additional accommodations needed, visit http://orangeability.syr.edu.