October 25, 2014  

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TLC Connects People with Disabilities to Sports, Recreational Activities

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The Technology Learning Center (TLC) at The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast is launching “Project Slam Dunk: Connecting People with Sports” to give people with disabilities who live in remote areas of south Mississippi the opportunity to participate in recreational activities.

In addition to promoting various adapted sports and recreational equipment at TLC, the program, which also hosts the university’s conference champion Golden Eagles wheelchair basketball team, is actively recruiting players for the upcoming 2012-2013 season. Through Project Slam Dunk, TLC is reaching out to members of the community who are unable to participate in recreational activities due to the geographic location of their residence.

“The TLC Golden Eagles wheelchair basketball team has achieved great success in the last year,” said Ashley-Nicole Flowers, coach and coordinator of the team. “With this winning team in place, the time is right for a rural outreach program to include players from small towns and remote areas where people with disabilities do not have access to playing wheelchair sports or the resources to play with the Golden Eagles team.”

Members of the Golden Eagles wheelchair basketball team are classified within one of three different disability classes. Class 1 is a member having complete motor loss or comparable disability where there is total loss of muscle function originating at or above the thoracic vertebrae 7. Class 2 is a member having complete loss at the thoracic vertebrae 8, which may be motor power at hips and thighs, including amputees with bilateral hip disarticulation. Class 3 is a member having all other physical disabilities as related to lower extremity amputees and is included with exception to bilateral hip disarticulation.

The goal of Project Slam Dunk is to spread awareness of the recreational opportunities TLC provides for people with traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries and are living in rural areas of south Mississippi. Programs provided by the TLC are designed to improve learning and living for people with disabilities of all ages.

In addition to offering adapted recreation and sports programs, TLC serves as a lending library of specialized adapted toys for children with disabilities and assistive technology for adults. TLC not only lends equipment, but provides evaluations and training on assistive technology for people with special needs.

For more information about the Southern Miss Technology Learning Center, call 228.214.3400.