Garrett Weber-Gale, Olympic gold medalist and University of Texas at Austin alumnus, will speak on campus Thursday, Oct. 29, as part of Disability Awareness Month. The event will be held in the Carpenter-Winkel Centennial Room on the 9th floor of Bellmont Hall from 7-8:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public.
Weber-Gale will share his story of training and competing as a swimmer while closely monitoring a chronic illness--high blood pressure, which was diagnosed when he was 20. He will reflect on the highlights of his swimming career, which includes earning NCAA All-American honors 18 times, being a two-time NCAA champion and earning the Olympic gold in Beijing in the 400 freestyle relay and the 400 medley relay. He set the American record for freestyle during the Olympic Trials. A question-and-answer session and photograph opportunities will follow Weber-Gale's presentation.
The event is sponsored by Services for Students with Disabilities, part of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin, Student Government and Intercollegiate Athletics.
"By having Garrett speak, we hope to publicize Disability Awareness Month and emphasize there are many forms of disabilities--even hidden disabilities. As well, there are many ways of overcoming disabilities," said Dr. Gregory Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement. "We want to increase awareness to help lessen the stigmas often attached to disabilities."
Services for Students with Disabilities also will celebrate Disability Awareness Month with a free public screening of the 2007 film "Music Within" on Oct. 14 from 6:30-9 p.m. on campus in Mezes Hall 1.306. The film chronicles the story of one man and his crusade to bring about change and recognition to people with disabilities.