“Facts of Life” star to help celebrate Ability Awareness Day

Jewell’s new book discusses living with cerebral palsy.

The Saddleback College Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS) department is proud to present Ability Awareness Day with Geri Jewell on Tuesday from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the student lounge located in the Student Services Center, Room 212.

Jewell is best known as playing Cousin Geri on the 1980s NBC sitcom “The Facts of Life” and was the first person with a disability to have a regular role on a primetime series. When Jewell is not working in television, she is a motivational speaker and trainer in the areas of disability and diversity. Her recent book release of “I’m Walking as Straight as I Can: Transcending Disability in Hollywood and Beyond” is a tell-all book about growing up with cerebral palsy.

Having a comedienne who has overcome a disability will shed a humorous light on a very serious and important topic – educating people about the difficulties that face disabled students and community members,” said Saddleback President Tod A. Burnett. Saddleback College strives to provide every student with the necessary tools for success.

DSPS organized this annual event to remind people that disabilities do not have to stop a person from living a full life, but adaptation and accommodation are essential components to allow the disabled person to focus on their strengths and build on their on their abilities.

“Audience members will discover that Jewell lives what she teaches and that she is responsible for countless acts of kindness every day,” said Ardith Lynch, coordinator for special services. “We are fortunate to have Jewell as a guest here at Saddleback College. She will make us different.”

In addition to her groundbreaking role on “The Facts of Life,” Jewell has appeared on several other TV shows and specials. She has also consulted for several Fortune 500 businesses and branches of the U.S. government and military.


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