Events to promote disability awareness

King Gimp

A number of events are scheduled at NAU in October to promote awareness of the experiences of individuals with disabilities.

“Disability touches each one of us in some way,” said Chris Lanterman, co-chair
of NAU’s Commission on Disability Access and Design. “NAU recognizes disability as an important and integral facet of diversity and this is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the university’s commitment to diversity.”

Lanterman said the “flagship” event is a free screening on Oct. 15 of the Academy Award-winning film King Gimp, a documentary that chronicles the life of renowned artist Dan Keplinger, who has cerebral palsy. The film begins at 6:30 p.m. at Cline Library Assembly Hall, and an in-person question-and-answer session with Keplinger will follow.

“This film is a frank, uplifting epic of triumph over adversity,” Lanterman said, calling it the portrait of an artist’s birth, since it was Keplinger’s discovery of painting and drawing that freed his spirit of expression. “Dan Keplinger presents a perspective on disability that removes pity from the equation,” Lanterman said.

Disability Awareness events include:

Disability History Timeline
Oct. 5 to Oct. 23
Biological Sciences, building 21, ground floor outside of the dean’s office, free

Take a historical look at the triumphs and tragedies experienced by people with disabilities throughout history.

CJ Jones
CJ Jones

CJ Jones, Comedian
Saturday, Oct. 10
Cline Library Assembly Hall, doors open at 7 p.m.
Cost: $10 for adults, $7 for students and senior citizens

Internationally known deaf entertainer CJ Jones has been delighting audiences of all ages for more than 25 years with his visual imagery and storytelling.

Arrive early for the 7:30 p.m. screening of the short film Got Matches? by deaf filmmaker Troy Kotsur, followed by a question-and-answer session with Kotsur at 7:45 p.m. Jones will take the stage at 8 p.m.


Free Film Screening: ‘King Gimp’
Followed by a free discussion with the writer, Dan Keplinger 
Thursday, Oct. 15
Cline Library Assembly Hall
6:30 p.m., free

In a 2001 Singular commercial that aired during the Super Bowl, renowned artist Dan Keplinger, who has cerebral palsy, told viewers, “Yes, there is an intelligent person within this body,” as a challenge to the stereotypes held about people who communicate differently from society in general. “His artistic talent helps us reframe his experiences as those of an ‘artist’ rather than those of a ‘disabled person,’” said Chris Lanterman, co-chair of NAU’s Commission on Disability Access and Design. For information, e-mail or call (928) 523-3575.

The Disability Experience: Promoting Greater Understanding throughout the NAU Community
Tuesday, Oct. 20
du Bois Center, room 11
3:30 to 5 p.m.

The university’s Institute for Human Development will present information on its efforts to promote greater understanding and acceptance of people with disabilities, and discuss potential applications throughout the NAU community.

For information, contact Diane Lenz at (928) 523-7040 or