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Ms. Wheelchair California To Speak At CSUSB

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Jennifer Kumiyama, Ms. Wheelchair California 2010 and the first musical performer in a wheelchair at a Disney theme park, will be the featured speaker at the Cal State San Bernardino Universal Design in Action Event and Fair on Tuesday, April 12.

The free event and fair, which is open to the public, will be from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the university’s Santos Manuel Student Union Events Center. Parking at the university is $5.

The event will also offer a glimpse into all the activity and action surrounding universal design at Cal State San Bernardino for accessibility for people with disabilities. Universal design is broad-spectrum architectural planning meant to produce buildings, products and environments that are inherently accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities.

Faculty will share their experiences in designing courses using universal design methodologies through poster sessions. The Assistive Computing Resource Center will demonstrate the various assistive technologies available to students to aid them in their studies. Visitors can also explore resources available to students, faculty and staff from CSUSB’s services to students with disabilities and human resources departments.

Born with Arthrogryposis, which occurs once in every 3,000 births, native California resident Kumiyama discovered her passion for music and began singing in her church choir at age 6. Kumiyama, now 31, attended California State University, Long Beach.

In 2002, Kumiyama was cast in Disney’s “Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular,” making her the first cast member in a wheelchair to perform at a Disney theme park.

She was recently crowned Ms. Wheelchair California 2010 and represented California at the Ms. Wheelchair America Pageant, placing as first runner up.

Kumiyama said her inabilities have never stopped her from breaking barriers, overcoming adversity and living her life to the fullest.

“With faith in yourself and determination, it can all happen,” Kumiyama believes.

The event is sponsored by numerous CSUSB departments, including human resources, the Adult Re-entry and Pride Center, the kinesiology department, services to students with disabilities, the University Development DisAbilities Center, WorkAbility IV, the Institutional Research and Technology Division, Assistive Technology Assistance Program, Assistive Technology Initiative and Printing Services.

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