RADFORD,Va. – October is Disability Awareness Month and the Parent Education Resource Center will be hosting various events throughout the month to bring awareness to those with disabilities.
The first event kicked off on Thursday with a wheelchair basketball game with several Radford City public schools.
Teachers from Radford City Schools are getting the lesson Thursday from the Cardinals and the Roanoke Star League.
More than 300 students in the area attended the wheelchair basketball tournament.
The goal was to promote inclusion and break the stereotype of children with disabilities and to show children who are disabled that they, too, can shoot and reach their goals.
“There is a lack of opportunities with people with disabilities in South West Virginia and the Roanoke Stars help to at least provide an avenue with wheelchair basketball, but also the means to find out opportunities for other adaptive sports,” said Jacob Tyree, wheelchair basketball player and organizer.
Tyree wants to remind young people like him that their lives are not over and there are opportunities everywhere. He wants to make activities like this more accessible in our region.
Non-disabled students also participated in the game to learn the challenge that their peers face.
“I myself couldn't get past half-court and couldn't get down the court. It’s very challenging and hard. It shows you the strength. It takes a lot of upper body strength. Despite the fact they have different issues,” said Angie McCauley, organizer.
A $2,000 grant from the Department of Education helped put on this event. The money will also cover future events to raise disability awareness for schools in the area.
Nicole Burgard helped organize the game. She hopes it will inspire her son.
“I want him to know when he sees this league playing, that it can be him one day and that he has the same opportunities as others to play sports if that's what he wants to do,” Burgard said.
If you or know someone who would like to participate or donate, head over to this link.