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Demonstrations focus on assistive technologies and self-defense for disabled

April 22, 2002

How does a man who's confined to a wheelchair defend himself from an attacker? What should a woman with a cane do when accosted by a would-be rapist?

Those questions and others will be answered at one of two demonstrations in the Joe Morgan University Center lobby tomorrow. Scheduled for 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., the seminars are part of the University's observation of Disability Awareness Day and are sponsored by APSU's Disability Services.

From 10 a.m. to noon, faculty, staff and students can view "Advancements in Assistive Technology," a demonstration of several devices designed to assist people with disabilities in living a more normal life. Technologies to be discussed include state-of-the-art amplification systems and a TTY (teletypewriter), both for the hearing-impaired, and a CCTV and computer-based reading machine, for people with vision problems.

At 12:30 p.m., master fitness and self-defense instructor Richard Luntz will demonstrate self-defense techniques for those with disabilities, though the techniques would be useful for everyone.

"We show how someone who's blind can use a technique called tracking to defend himself," Luntz says. "We'll also demonstrate how even if someone is in a wheelchair they can defend themselves using the power of their hands."

Luntz, part of the Action Fitness Studios instruction group, studied marshal arts in Hawaii and in Okinawa, Japan, with the Marine's Special Forces. Now retired, he teaches fitness and self-defense classes as well as children's wrestling. He specializes in executive self-defense instruction.