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Rochester to mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities

November 27, 2018

On Dec. 3 people of all abilities will gather to celebrate the community’s diversity as part of the second annual International Day of Persons with Disabilities celebration in Rochester.

The community event will be held at the Rochester Civic Theatre from noon to 6 p.m. The day will feature a variety of events including art displays, a film festival and keynote speaker James Langevin, who will share his story of living with a prosthetic leg.

The United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities has been annually observed since 1992. The theme of this year’s day is “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.”

A Thalidomide baby, Langevin had toe and foot amputation at 10 months and additional surgeries as he continued to grow.

“Despite having a prosthetic limb, Jim was active in sports. He encountered additional setbacks with a shattered kneecap from playing hockey and a broken femur from a downhill skiing accident. Jim’s journey most recently culminated in the removal of the remainder of his tibia and knee joint due to an infection that would have eventually spread and killed him,” event organizers said in a news release.

Event attendees will also have the opportunity to get a hands-on disability experience in the Diverse Ability Lab.

The event is free and open to the public. More information can be found at http://bit.ly/2018IDPWD. To request an accommodation, contact Heather Grummons at (507) 923-2844 or Heather.Grummons@state.mn.us.

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