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BTN debuts new series, features the development of wheelchair athletics at Illinois
"Impact the World" debuts on the Big Ten Network at 8:30 p.m. CT on Tuesday, January 10
The initial program will be rebroadcast at 9:30 p.m. CT on Thursday, January 12; and again at 10 a.m. CT on Sunday, January 15
The University of Illinois has always been at the forefront of innovations for students with disabilities, being the first to offer wheelchair-accessible residence halls, buses and bus routes. And in 1948, Illinois became the first university to start an athletic program for students with disabilities while uniting a group of World War II veterans to organize the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA).
The NWBA is credited with helping to influence the disability sports movement and spread wheelchair basketball around the world.
Illini junior Megan Blunk was a victim of a car accident at the age of 19 and through participation in the Illini wheelchair basketball team, has learned that her wheelchair does not define her.
Today, Illinois continues to develop new racing chairs in its effort to foster wheelchair athletics. The university also recently completed a new residence hall for students with the most severe physical disabilities, named in honor of Dr. Timothy Nugent, the program’s founder.