By Linda Tran |Staff Writer|
“My life without mascara would be so boring!” said Jennifer Kumiyama, Ms.Wheelchair 2010.
CSUSB’s Access Committee hosted their 22nd Annual DisAbility Awareness Event and Universal Design in Action Fair on April 12 featuring Kumiyama as their keynote speaker.
The committee and Kumiyama brought attention to universal design, which focused on extensive ideas to produce products and buildings to people with and without disability.
“Universal design enhances the quality of life for students with and without disabilities,” said Twillea Evans-Carthen, chair of the Human Resources department and Access Committee.
Evans-Carthen, believes it is important for people to know there are sources that help students and faculty members to access things more than ever before.
Keynote speaker Jennifer Kumiyama discussed her life having arthrogryposis since birth and how the disorder has not stopped her from living an independent life.
Arthrogryposis is a rare disorder where curved or hooked joints give a reduced range of movement for joints such as wrists, feet and shoulders.
Kumiyama was honored as Ms. Wheelchair 2010 last April and was first runner up in the Ms. Wheelchair American Pageant in which she was rewarded with the Lifetime Achievement award.
She is a professional singer at Disney’s California Adventure in the “Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular” production.
Kumiyama is the first member in a wheelchair to perform in a Disney theme park.
When Kumiyama was introduced to the stage for the event she embraced the audience with her positive aura and charming personality.
She impressed the audience by demonstrating her hair-brushing techniques with appliances she made herself and applied mascara on like a true professional.
Professor Kathryn M. Ervin found the event very useful to her teaching techniques.
“It helps as a faculty member to think about different ways of presenting material instead of just standing up during lecture to just talk,” said Ervin.
Ervin is inspired to make her lectures and the course material more engaging to her students.
She also encourages them to think outside of the box when it comes to universal design and people with disabilities.
Not only did the audience get to experience the wonders of universal design but had the experience to hear Kumiyama perform with her band.
Her voice left the audience in awe as she sang song titles from the bluesy upbeat version of “Down with Love” to the inspiring “Many the Miles” by Sara Bareilles.
She fascinated everyone with her charismatic voice, truly giving the audience a magical Disney feel.
Shortly after the event a fair was held filled with several CSUSB departments there to discuss about their contributions to universal design.
Natalie Sanchez, a student who attended the event believes universal design has improved.
“I also think there’s still a way to go and in due time it’s only going to get better” said Sanchez.
Evans-Carthen believes Kumiyama truly represents the disabled community.
With inspiration from Kumiyama, Evans-Carthen believes that people should not feel discouraged or give up by things they want to do and should know what sources are available.