Nov. 24, 2015
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The inaugural President's Commission for Disability Issues (PCDI) Disability Symposium took place Nov. 24 in the Smith Student Center as part of the 2015-2016 SRU Diversity and Inclusion Series. The event was designed to facilitate professional development, advocacy and awareness for SRU students and faculty in fields of study related to disability.
Aaron Fotheringham, a wheelchair motocross athlete from Las Vegas, served as the keynote speaker. Fotheringham, 22, was born with spina bifida, a birth defect of the spinal cord, which resulted in him having no use of his legs.
An avid skateboarding fan growing up, Fotheringham would adapt that enthusiasm to his wheelchair and perfect a midair 180-degree turn (2005), before landing what is believed to be the first wheelchair backflip. After posting his feat on the Internet, Fotheringham was afforded the opportunity to travel the world, speaking on overcoming obstacles and stereotypes. He has attended summer camps for disabled children as a coach/mentor and been featured in magazines, newspapers and television. He has recently performed for audiences as a touring member of Nitro Circus. (Photos by Jordyn Naggy, communication and journalism major from Derry)