Former Rutgers University football player Eric LeGrand delivered a moving speech at his graduation in May despite his keynote invitation being rescinded just a few weeks earlier. LeGrand, who was paralyzed during a football game against Army in 2010, took to Twitter to express frustration after being uninvited to speak at graduation. Rutgers officials insisted it was a matter of miscommunication– LeGrand would still be able to make a speech but former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean was the official keynote speaker.
Meanwhile, Kean said he’d donate his speaking fee to create a scholarship fund for LeGrand. Read more.
The best web sites for vision-, hearing- and motion-impaired users have been announced by 7-123 Software. The Salem, Mass. software company released its seventh annual winners list on March 31. The web sites were reviewed to recognize noteworthy contributions to the accessible gaming community. Read the list here.
Derrick Coleman, fullback for the Seattle Seahawks and first legally deaf player on the NFL, surprised a couple of his biggest fans with tickets to the Super Bowl. Coleman surprised nine-year-old twins Riley and Erin Kovalcik while the girls were taping a segment for Good Morning America. The girls, who are also hearing impaired, had written Coleman a letter that went viral expressing their admiration of his accomplishments despite having a disability. Read more.
The first national Miss Amazing pageant, for girls with mental and physical disabilities, was held in Omaha, Nebraska last week.
Jordan Somer, who founded Miss Amazing seven years ago when she was just 13-years-old, said every girl in the pageant receives a crown just for participating and pushing her limits. Pageant events, including evening wear and talent portions, are designed to boost confidence and self-esteem. Read more.
Disabled thrill-seekers are finding “liberation through technology,” according to NPR. Eric Whitney with “All Things Considered” profiled companies producing innovative prosthetics that allow amputees and those with other disabilities to rock climb, kayak, mountain bike and more.
The NFL agreed to shell out $765 million Thursday to settle a lawsuit brought by thousands of retired players accusing the league of hiding the dangers of brain injury. The settlement may be perceived as a win for the league, which makes nearly $10 billion in annual revenue, as terms do not require the NFL to admit guilt.
Tremendous advances have been made in the medical field within the past decade, thus making it easier for those who lose limbs either in war or for another reason to regain their physical abilities. James Dao talks with veterans who have lost limbs in various wars, as well as experts and others who emphasized the importance of adaptive sports and other support systems to help those with injuries.
The message, with all its implications for success, can be distilled into three words. Spend any amount of time around this coach, around his football program, and you’ll come away parroting the mantra:
“Figure it out.”
Catchy, sure. But it’s more than a nice phrase. It’s Mark Speckman’s coaching philosophy. And his life.
The Kaiwi Channel is one of the most difficult channels to cross on a paddleboard. On Sunday, some of the world’s top athletes took on the challenge in the 15th annual Molokai to Oahu Paddleboard World Championship.