Access & Inclusion Week at Rowan offers full complement of events

Access & Inclusion Week at Rowan offers full complement of events


The Rowan University community is marking Access & Inclusion Week the week of Oct. 24 with a rich slate of events, including presentations by a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, a blues musician, and a leader in STEM education in the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.

Formerly known as Disability Awareness Week, Access & Inclusion Week highlights an important theme for all in the University community, notes John Woodruff, director of the Academic Success Center and Disability Resources.

All events are free and open to the public.

“In celebrating access and inclusion, we recognize that a disability—whether hidden or visible—does not define a person,” Woodruff says. “Although individuals with disabilities may have powerful stories about determination, overcoming adversity, grit and resilience, at the end of the day it’s all about access and inclusion.”

Here’s a day-to-day look at Access and Inclusion Week at Rowan:

Monday, Oct. 24

Ryan “Gooch” Nelson will bring his music, infused with rock, country, blues and hip-hop, to the stage in the Pit of the Chamberlain Student Center for a 7 p.m. performance of Gooch and the Motion. Wheelchair bound due to a car accident in 2004, Nelson is a leukemia survivor whose first album, “Coming Home,” was released earlier this year.

Nelson, who has performed on stage with the Zac Brown Band, the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd, takes his music into rehabilitation hospitals.

Tuesday, Oct. 25

Karlton Hughes, instructional designer in the Department of Academic Technology, and Michael Ciocco, director of Rowan Online in the Division of Global Learning & Partnerships, will present “Best Practices in Providing Classroom Accommodations” at 11 a.m. in Room 169 of Memorial Hall.

During opening ceremonies for Access & Inclusion Week on Oct. 24, Hughes, Ciocco, Assistant Vice President for Civic Involvement Joseph Mulligan and Rowan University Libraries Marketing and Outreach Coordinator Aileen Bachant Pritch all were honored for their efforts to promote disability awareness and access and inclusion University-wide.

Wednesday, Oct. 26

In what will be a day for discussion and reflection, Dr. Carolyn Solomon, a biology professor at Gallaudet University, and Philip Schultz, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, both will speak to the Rowan community.

Solomon will present “Making Waves: Engaging Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing People in STEM” at 11 a.m. in the Eynon Ballroom of the Chamberlain Student Center. A leading scientist in the areas of phytoplankton ecology and nitrogen dynamics, Solomon, who is deaf, teaches at the world’s only university with programs and services specifically designed to accommodate deaf and hard-of-hearing students. She served a prestigious Fulbright fellowship studying the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

Schultz, the week’s keynote speaker, will speak to the Rowan community at 2 p.m. in the Eynon Ballroom. He is the founder/director of The Writers Studio, a private school for fiction and poetry. In addition to several poetry collections, Schultz wrote My Dyslexia, a memoir that chronicles his difficulties with the debilitating disability—and his struggles to overcome it.

After his presentation, Schultz will sign copies of his works.

The whirlwind day ends with a Prof Talk focusing on disability awareness at 6:30 p.m. in the Owl’s Nest of the Chamberlain Student Center.

Thursday, Oct. 27

The Rec Center will be a hub of activity throughout the day.

Members of the University community will give wheelchair ballroom dancing a try (1:30-3:30 p.m.). That will be followed by Paralympics Sports Day (4-6 p.m.), which will feature wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball.

Friday, Oct. 28

The week concludes with a “Chill ’N Chat” with a disability awareness theme at 11 a.m. in Training Room A of the Wellness Center in Winans Hall.

Access & Inclusion Week is organized by the Academic Success Center. Programs are sponsored by the following: Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning; College of Education; Orientation and Student Leadership Programs; Department of Health & Exercise Science; Wellness Center; Office of Student Activities; Healthy Campus Initiatives; Department of Music; Department of Biological Science; College of Communication and Creative Arts; American Sign Language Club; Student Council for Exceptional Children; and Campbell Library;

For information about Access & Inclusion Week, contact John Woodruff, or 856-256-4234.