Ability Week raises awareness, funds for disabilities, promotes service

ability-week-raises-awareness-funds-for-disabilities-promotes-servicePi Kappa Phi dedicated an entire week to challenging the University of Texas at Tyler campus to consider the abilities of all people. The Theta Pi Chapter sponsored their annual ‘Ability Week’ October 24-29, aiming to engage the campus community through awareness and service projects, fundraisers, and creative programming.

The project, which supports Pi Kappa Phi’s philanthropy, the Ability Experience, began with ‘Pi a Pi Kapp’ and the chance to toss a plate of whipped cream into the face of Pi Kapp members.

Tuesday at 10 a.m., a 24-hour cycling marathon kicked off outside the University Center, with members and their fellow students taking turns on stationary bikes. This feat of endurance serves as a perfect conversation starter with fellow students to explain the mission of the Ability Experience. Philanthropy chairman Bradley Hudson said the activity is inspired by one of the organization’s national events, the Journey of Hope, which is a cross-country cycling trek that spreads a message of acceptance and understanding for people with disabilities.

ability-week-raises-awareness-funds-for-disabilities-promotes-service-2Wednesday kicked off a ‘Spread The Word to End The Word’ awareness campaign to promote people-first language. More than 200 students, faculty, and staff were signed their name to a banner, pledging to eliminate use of the ‘R-Word.’

Peg-A-Pi Kapp on Thursday drew dozens of students to Harvey Lake on campus. Pi Kappa Phi members volunteered to take turns riding in canoes, as others pledged donations to take a turn launching tennis balls from a slingshot, creating a real-life version of the game ‘Battleship.’

On Friday, the campus came out for an EDM, or Every Disability Matters party, which celebrated the week of promoting lifelong service and enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities.

Saturday, members Aristeo Hernandez, Shamyl Bashir, and Michael McGrath volunteered with Texas Ramp Project, building a wheelchair ramp for a Smith County family.

The week helped raise more than $350 for The Ability Experience.

For more information about The Ability Experience, visit http://www.abilityexperience.org

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