Members of the Disability Awareness at Keuka College Club include, form left: Carissa Wong '19, secretary; Paige Raulli '21, Student Senate representative; Bethany Pendl '20, treasurer; Laura Sprague '19, co-president; and Marissa Mitchell '19, co-president.
Members of Keuka College’s Disability Awareness at Keuka College Club (DAK) will partner with Rochester Accessible Adventures (RAA) and Rochester Wheels to present a Wheelchair Basketball Exhibition game on Wednesday, Nov. 28.
Held in the College’s JMW Recreation and Athletics Center, the game tips off at 7:30 p.m. It is open to the public with a $1 entry fee (free with Keuka College student ID). All money raised will go to RAA. Donations directly to RAA will also be accepted.
“Wheelchair basketball enables individuals who use wheelchairs an opportunity to participate in the game,” says Marissa Mitchell ’19, an occupational science major who serves as co-president of DAK. “This is a way to bring awareness to opportunities for individuals with disabilities and create a more inclusive community.”
Students will also have the chance to play wheelchair basketball against the Rochester Wheels. Students interested in playing wheelchair basketball must register to join the Keuka College Wheelchair basketball team by Monday, Nov. 26.
“Students will learn to play basketball from a wheelchair, and then play a game against the Rochester Wheels,” says Marissa. “This will be a fun opportunity to join the wheelchair basketball team for a night.”
The evening will be as much about educating as fundraising, organizers say.
“We would like people to attend so they can understand that just because somebody is in a wheelchair, doesn’t mean they can’t participate in sports or activities that others participate in; they just find a creative way to join,” says Laura Sprague ’19, an occupational science major who serves as both the co-president and co-founder of the club.
According to Carissa Wong ’19, an occupational science major and the secretary of the club, the mission of DAK is to promote inclusivity by educating students about disabilities, both visible and unseen.
“This is a great opportunity to meet people from another community and to experience or observe sports in a slightly different perspective,” she says.“This is an awesome opportunity to try something new. I hope that I will become more empathetic to those who are in a wheelchair and appreciate their talents.”
RAA ensures individuals with disabilities are able to access inclusive active recreation and sports opportunities. The organization has a strong community network dedicated to ensuring individuals with disabilities have healthy, active lifestyle opportunities and are connected to the supportive resources they need.