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Teacher-author to speak about guide dog companions at disabilities forum

October 4, 2012
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Teacher-author Kathy Nimmer, with her companion, Elias, will speak at the fourth annual Schneider Disability Issues Forum Oct. 18

EAU CLAIRE — Kathy Nimmer, an award-winning teacher, author and motivational speaker, will be the featured speaker at the fourth annual Schneider Disability Issues Forum Oct. 18 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

She will present "Paws and Paperclips: Musings from a Blind Teacher, Author and Guide Dog Handler" at 4 p.m. Oct. 18 in Room 100 of Hibbard Humanities Hall. Nimmer, who will discuss the special relationship of assistance dogs and their human companions, will be accompanied by her guide dog, Elias.

Nimmer is the author of "Two Plus Four Equals One: Celebrating the Partnership of People with Disabilities and Their Assistance Dogs," which is now available in alternate format from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. In the book, a collection of stories, essays and poems, she describes the challenges and rewards of training guide dogs and the experiences during the first days with a new service animal.

A longtime teacher who has been active in disability outreach, Nimmer has won awards for leadership, including the Durward K. McDaniels Ambassador Award given by the American Council for the Blind, and has received grants to write about assistance dogs.

The forum is free and open to the public and will be captioned and interpreted. Free reserved parking is available in the new Haas Fine Arts Center metered lot on Water Street (now located just behind the building). Free parking also is available in the Hibbard parking lot after 3 p.m. in stalls marked "F" and "S" only.

The Schneider Disability Issues Forum is funded through the UW-Eau Claire Foundation and co-sponsored by the Chippewa Valley Book Festival. It was established by Dr. Katherine Schneider, author of "To the Left of Inspiration: Adventures in Living with Disabilities" and the children's book "Your Treasure Hunt: Disabilities and Finding Your Gold." Schneider, who has been blind since birth, worked in Counseling Services at UW-Eau Claire before retiring in 2004. She established the forum to help people understand accessibility issues for people who have disabilities.

For more information about how to support the lecture series or disability services at UW-Eau Claire, contact the UW-Eau Claire Foundation at 715-836-5630.

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