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News and Announcements

March 13, 2015

disABILITY Awareness Schedule Announced

Keynote Speaker, Jennifer Kumiyama "Unlimited Possibilities" Thursday, April 2nd, 12-1pm, BSC Ursa Major

Featuring actress singer and advocate Jennifer Kumiyama of "Disney's Aladdin, a Musical Spectacular", "Sessions", and "PopStar2".

Movie Night "The Theory of Everything" Friday, April 3rd, 7-10pm, COB Building 163-1015

A panel discussion moderated by Dr. Suketu Bahvsar will follow.

Book Display "Unlimited Possibities at Your Library" April 1st - June 12th, University Library 3rd Floor Collections

Showcasing a variety of books related to the topic of disability.

Pets Supporting People Tuesday, April 28th, 11:30am-1:00pm, University Plaza

Featuring Dr. Aubrey Fine, CPP Professor and Animal Therapy Expert and an opportunity to interact with a variety of therapy animals from Danny's Farm.

Art with Impact and Stigma Reduction Workshop Tuesday, April 28th, 5-7:30pm, BSC Ursa Minor

Join us for an evening of short films on the subject of mental health, followed by a discussion and workshop.

Veterans Mental Health 101 Workshop Wednesday, April 29th, 11am-1pm, BSC Ursa Major C

Faculty and staff are invited to attend this seminar to learn more about the mental health concerns student veterans may experience as they adjust to the classroom environment.

March 1, 2015

disABILITY Awareness Month to Feature Actress, Singer, and Advocate, Jennifer Kumiyama

Jennifer Kumiyama performing in Disney's Aladdin: A Musical SpectacularJennifer was born with Arthrogryposis (AMC), however, her inabilities have never stopped her from breaking barriers, overcoming adversity and living her life to the fullest. 

Jennifer discovered her passion for music and theater as a child singing in her church choir.  As "the girl in the wheelchair" in Warner Brothers’ Reality TV show "PopStars2", Jennifer created a buzz in TV Guide and Variety Magazine. Subsequent credits have included “Awkward”, “The Sessions” and “Forever Beautiful”, but perhaps her most recognizable role to locals is in Disney's "Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular" at Disney’s California Adventure.  As the first performer in a wheelchair in a Disney theme park, Jennifer represents the disabled community to 8,000 people a day and is proud to bring inclusion of the disabled community in an able bodied world.

When not performing, Jennifer welcomes opportunities to educate others regarding the many abilities of persons with disabilities and encouraging those with disabilities to empower themselves to break barriers and turn their own dreams into reality. 

Jennifer will serve as the keynote speaker for disABILITY Awareness Month on April 2, 2015 from 12:00pm - 1:00pm in Ursa Major.

February 24, 2015

2015 Diversity Champions Honored

2015 Diversity Champions Dr. Cathy Schmitt Whitaker and Renee EstaphanGeneral Biology major Renee Estaphan and Executive Director, Student Health and Counseling Services, Dr. Catherine Schmitt Whitaker are honored as this year’s Diversity Champions.  As the Advocacy Chair for our Cal Poly Pomona campus Active Minds chapter, Renee has demonstrated a true passion to educate the campus on mental health and wellness and to remove the stigma that surrounds mental health.  As a result of these efforts, our Active Minds chapter has flourished.  Renee has also taken an active role coordinating three events for this year’s on this year’s disABILITY Awareness Month.

Cathy’s commitment to fostering education, access, and inclusivity is demonstrated by her many contributions to our campus and community including serving as a founding member of the Access and disABILITY Alliance and multiple terms in the role of AdA President.  She has been instrumental in forging strong community partnerships and securing funding to support disability awareness events, the Ability Ally Training program, and numerous campus projects supporting disability awareness, stress and mental health training and educational programming.  Cathy has also served on the CSU Accessible Technology Initiative and Services to Students with Disabilities Advisory Committee and has participated in the creation of multiple scholarship opportunities for students with disabilities.

November 11, 2014

Ability Ally Training Program Receives Innovative Program Award

NASPA Region VI logoThe Ability Ally Training Program has been recognized by NASPA Region VI with the 2014 Innovative Program Award.  Each year, the organization composed of student affairs administrators in education, recognizes a program which demonstrates innovation and creativity, pursues the growth of staff, students, faculty, and/or community development, and enriches life on campus. 

The Ability Ally Training Program was noted to be the first comprehensive ally program created to address disability related issues and unique in that it has been conceptualized, created, and implemented by a cross-campus alliance of staff and student volunteers, is facilitated by both staff and students, and is the only program of its kind to provide training to students, staff and faculty together in one environment.

Evidence based assessment demonstrates significant gains in individual learning and campus climate improvements. Success stories include students feeling empowered to advocate and shifting in perspectives of community members to effectively resolve specific unresolved situations discussed as a result of the training program.

November 1, 2014

Join Us at NASPA

NASPA 2015 Conference LogoOur Ability Ally facilitators have been selected to present at the NASPA Annual Conference in New Orleans in March 2015. "Ability Ally Program: A Network Approach to Transforming Campus Climate" will engage participants in an interactive examination of how the Ability Ally Program has capitalized on cross-functional teams to educate and establish a network of students, staff and faculty who take a visible role in promoting disability awareness and supporting persons with disabilities. The session will provide participants with an opportunity to:
  • Appreciate the growing need for disability awareness and advocacy programs in higher education
  • Identify successful approaches for leveraging cross-functional teams to educate and establish a network of students, staff and faculty who take a visible role in promoting disability awareness and supporting persons with disabilities
  • Explore a proven model for implementing their own ally program, including organization, promotion, execution, and challenges
  • Engage in interactive components of Cal Poly Pomona's Ability Ally Training
Should you be NASPA bound, we hope that you will join us on Monday, March 23, 2015 from 11:15am - 12:05pm, R06 - Convention Center.