Tennessee Disability Coalition kicks off statewide awareness campaign

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Disability Awareness Across Tennessee campaign kicked off Thursday afternoon.

The campaign is in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the independence and equal opportunities it provides for people with disabilities.

A stuffed goose named Marshall, that resembles the Tennessee Disability Coalition logo is traveling across the state and gathering stories of people with disabilities.

Among those stories is the story of former professional ice skater Mary Lu Shipstad suffered a spinal injury in a car accident. She has found success as a figure skating coach and directs Knoxville’s annual “Nutcracker on Ice” holiday show.

“I able to verbally translate to my students what I want them to do with their body on a certain maneuver,” Shipstad said. “I can use my upper body to demonstrate. I can use my lower body a little bit to demonstrate to them, and if I need a more in-depth demonstration then I can get one of the skaters out on the ice to demonstrate for me to a younger skater a certain maneuver.”

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