Awards Recognize Faculty Promoting Better Disability Access

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Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 1.35.42 PM


Ariel Sierra – MUTV 23 News Staff Writer


On Monday Oct. 13 The First Annual Lee Henson Awards were presented to three winners who promoted accessibility for people with disabilities on campus.

Although the award is new, the idea has been long thought out. Years ago Lee Henson came up with the idea for the awards, but they were named in his honor after his passing last August.

In 1986 Henson was paralyzed from the chest down in a bicycle accident. Seven years later Henson came to the MU campus as The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) coordinator. During his 20 years as coordinator, he was passionate for a concept called Access Mizzou. The concept was based on accessibility for people with disabilities on campus. The ceremony not only honored Henson, but celebrated Access Mizzou through the presented awards.

Three awards were given out to people across the campus who madea difference in accessibility. Mary Bixby, Student Service Coordinator, was presented with the first award. Bixby earned her award by working with students in the Learning Center and providing them with individualized attention.

Dr. Cathy Thomas, Department of Special Education, teaches current teachers and co- workers about Universal Design for Learning (UDL), so they can help better educate students with disabilities. For her work, Thomas was presented with the second award.

Access on campus is not only about education, but everyday actions. John Neal, Joe Pille and Jim Heckemeyer from Division of Planning, Design, and Construction, were the last to be awarded. There work for accessibility ranges from leaving ramps open during construction, to building structures which are accessible.

Throughout the ceremony guests were reminded of the importance of small actions within accessibility. Whether the actions were positive or negative they largely impact accessibility on campus.

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