This is the second year that MU will join together for Celebrate Ability Week, a campus-wide event intended to create awareness and opportunities of learning for the community.  As part of this week, enjoy an evening with Academy Award winning actress, author and disability rights advocate Marlee Matlin at 7 p.m. in Jesse Auditorium on Oct. 4 as she shares her story as a deaf woman in the entertainment business. Admission is free.

At the age of 21, Marlee Matlin became the youngest recipient of the Best Actress Oscar for her debut film, “Children of a Lesser God.” Followed by a series of world travels and filming in third-world countries, Matlin found her passion in working with children who were deaf or had varying levels of hearing loss. She has continued helping others through the American Red Cross as a national celebrity spokesperson and on the boards of several charitable organizations such as The Children Affected by AIDS Foundation.

As a deaf woman in the entertainment business, she broke down stereotypes through her films such as “Bridge to Silence,” which was her first speaking role, and TV shows such as “Law and Order: SUV,” “Dancing with the Stars” and the “Celebrity Apprentice.”

Along with acting, Matlin, mother of four, is also an author of three children’s books titled, Deaf Child Crossing, Nobody’s Perfect and Leading Ladies. Each of the books are based off her life experiences growing up as a deaf child.

However, in her latest book, I’ll Scream Later, Matlin leaves the children’s books behind. She honestly and boldly depicts her life of becoming deaf at 18 months old, surviving Hollywood, battling addiction and defying everyone’s expectations. Acting gave her the discipline and motivation to succeed in life. She doesn’t hold anything back in this truly unique look at her turbulent past.

On Oct. 4 in Jesse Auditorium, Matlin will speak about the ways she broke and is breaking down barriers in the entertainment industry. At the end of the talk, Matlin will be signing copies of her novel, I’ll Scream Later. Matlin’s event is just one of 11 going on throughout Celebrate Ability Week, which is hosted by MSA/GPC Speakers Committee and the Department of Student Activities.

Here is a list of events courtesy of MSA and the Department of Student Activities.

Monday, Oct. 3:

1 – 2:30 p.m. – Adaptive Golf Demonstration in the Student Recreation Complex. Learn about the technologies of making golf accessible to everyone.

2:30 – 4 p.m. – Wheelchair Basketball Open House with the MU team in the Student Recreation Complex. Meet the team and watch how the game is played.

Tuesday, Oct. 4:

11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Student Perspectives on Disability with MUSE and ONE Mizzou in room 2212A at the MU Student Center. A panel of MU students with disabilities will discuss their personal experiences and answer your questions.

1 p.m. – 2 p.m. – The ADA: Civil Rights and the Spirit of the Law in room 2212A at the MU Student Center. Learn about the Americans with Disabilities Acts and how it’s impacting the lives of those with disabilities.

7 p.m. – Marlee Matlin presentation and book signing in Jesse Auditorium.

Wednesday, Oct. 5:

11 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Accessibility Expo at Lowry Mall with representatives from disability organizations in Columbia.

8 p.m. – “Children of a Lesser God” movie showing in Wrench Auditorium.

Thursday, Oct. 6:

11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  – Allies for Inclusion: the Ability Exhibit Workshop Edition in room 2212A at the MU Student Center. Join Karen Myers in an interactive multi-media approach to including people with all disabilities.

1 p.m. – 2 p.m. – Applying Universal Design in the Classroom with Gina Ceylan in room 2212A at the MU Student Center. Join Celyan as she presents an interactive lecture on ways teachers and professors can make their classrooms accessible to everyone.

Friday, October 7:

Rotating Screenings 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.; Premiere screening of “Trajectories: Four Stories of Creative Ability” in room A131 in MU’s Fine Arts Building. This is the premiere of Keith Montgomery’s documentary that delves into the “artistic passions of four MU students with disabilities.”

Rotating Screenings 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. – Screening of “Shameless: The Art of Disability” in room A131 at the MU Fine Arts Building. This is Bonnie Sherr’s “funny, intimate documentary” that is set at a pajama party in which five artists and performers with disabilities “debunk Hollywood’s stereotypes, explore disability culture, and explain a hidden, core truth: that living with disability is itself an art.”

7 p.m. – Mizzou After Dark Presents Dinner and a Movie: X-Men First Class in MU’s Wrench Auditorium. The movie will be fully accessible with descriptive video and captions.


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