On Wednesday, March 18, the Understanding Disabilities program will present Travis Roy as a speaker for the Coolidge and Parker Middle Schools. Roy is the Boston University hockey player who, 11 seconds into his first collegiate hockey game in the fall of 1995, was in an accident that cracked his fourth and fifth cervical vertebra, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down.
Roy returned to Boston University less than a year after his accident and graduated four years later with a degree in public relations. In 1997, with the help of sportswriter E.M. Swift, he wrote his autobiography titled “Eleven Seconds,” which tells the story of his accident and rehabilitation. His book was recently updated and is currently in its sixth printing.
Roy has become a motivational speaker as well as an advocate for individuals living with spinal cord injuries. He is active in the Travis Roy Foundation, founded in 1997, which focuses on finding a cure for spinal cord injuries and provides grants to spinal cord injury survivors in order to help them purchase costly adaptive equipment necessary to live active and independent lives.
“We are pleased and honored to be bringing Travis Roy to the middle schools,” says Paula Tucci, chairwoman of the Understanding Disabilities Board of Directors. “He will be an inspiration to students, especially when they hear all he’s been able to accomplish and overcome. Throughout our programs, we try to focus on people’s abilities rather than their disabilities and how we are all alike inside.”
Tucci points out that Understanding Disabilities is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary of serving the Reading Public Schools by presenting inspirational and informative programs to our children.
“As your readers may know, we currently face the challenge of having lost the funding which the School Committee had been able to provide us for many years,” Tucci says. “We are determined to continue this valuable program and hope the Reading community will help us raise the money that will allow us to continue to provide this service to the students of Reading.”
For further information about Understanding Disabilities, contact Ruth Clogston, program director, at email@example.com. Tax-deductible donations to support UD programming can be sent to Understanding Disabilities, Inc., PO Box 465, Reading, MA 01867.
For further information, contact Ruth Clogston, 781-942-9711