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Student wins state disability advocacy award

Fri, 10/25/2013

LAWRENCE — Amanda Thompson, a University of Kansas senior from Lincoln who is majoring in speech-language-hearing, has won the 2013 Michael Lechner Advocacy Award from the Kansas Commission on Disability Concerns. The annual award recognizes a Kansan with a disability who has effectively advocated for changes in his or her community to improve the lives of people with disabilities. Thompson will receive the award Friday, Nov. 1, at KCDC’s annual meeting.

Thompson is vice president of AbleHawks and Allies, a student group that raises awareness of accessibility needs and other disability issues. Last spring, she worked with KU Student Senate and other campus organizations to stage a disability awareness event that informed people about the experience wheelchair users have entering Strong Hall through the back entrance, the only accessible entrance at present.

In her role as an Accessibility Ambassador for KU’s office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, Thompson has also contributed to a more inclusive campus by educating KU staff members in several offices about disability etiquette and what it means to have an invisible disability such as her own, traumatic brain injury. Thompson also starred in a video featured in a mandatory training for all faculty about KU’s policies for academic accommodations.

Jamie Lloyd Simpson, director of accessibility and ADA education at KU, works with students with disabilities to improve campus accessibility. She said, “Most students with invisible disabilities have the option to keep the disability invisible. Ms. Thompson changes hearts and minds about disability because she courageously shares her own experience with our campus.”



Matt Menzenski, a graduate student in Slavic languages & literatures, took this photo during President Obama’s speech at KU Thursday. Menzenski says he was struck by how relaxed the president was in his delivery. He missed a chance to hear former President Bill Clinton speak in his hometown in 2004, but finally got to see a sitting president this week at KU. “The opportunity to hear the president speak is just one of many great opportunities I've had at KU. So many interesting talks and events happen here all the time. I try to attend at least one a week-- it's never hard to find something interesting to go to.” Tags: University of Kansas College of Liberal Arts and Sciences KU School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures KU Dept of Slavic Languages - Friends & Alumni Barack Obama The White House #exploreKU #POTUSatKU

Class outside… in January. Yes, please. #exploreKU (📷: insta samh131) http://t.co/FsKGMcomAG
Explore KU: The Bells of Mount Oread KU’s Campanile, a 120-foot-tall timepiece that tolls automatically on the hour and quarter-hour, not only sounded in the 2015 New Year at midnight with 12 mighty gongs, but also regularly rings up memories for many Jayhawks – the 277 faculty and students who gave their lives during World War II, the graduates who walk through its doors at commencement, and aspiring students who have strolled through the Lawrence campus. (See http://bit.ly/1xjjwJj). For nearly 60 years, KU’s 53-bell carillon has been tolling the sounds of peace and serenity across Mount Oread since it was installed in June 1955 inside the landmark World War II Memorial Campanile, which was dedicated in 1951. (See http://bit.ly/1BoL9jv) The carillon is also a four-octave musical instrument, which is played with a giant keyboard and foot pedals. University Carillonneur Elizabeth Egber-Berghout (http://bit.ly/14fiBPl), associate professor of carillon and organ, climbs 77 steps up a spiral staircase in the bell tower to perform recitals several times a month.


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times