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Artfest, a program co-sponsored by the Center for Disabilities Studies, was the subject an Oct. 25 article by Aaron Nathans in the News Journal:

For people with disabilities who lack fine motor skills, the simple act of drawing or painting can be challenging. But on Saturday, a group of University of Delaware students were there to help them bridge the gap.

Haley Shiber, 17, of Smyrna, was at Artfest with her father, Howard, and a UD student assigned as her “buddy” for the day, Natalie Pesetsky. Pesetsky helped steady a smiley-face stamp in Haley’s hand and press down into a piece of soft brown clay.

Haley, who uses a wheelchair, has a rare genetic disease and needs assistance to communicate, Howard Shiber said.

“She’s very engaged in what she’s doing; she’s very interested in what’s going on,” he said.

About 130 people – those with disabilities and their loved ones and University of Delaware students – attended in the morning and early afternoon at Absalom Jones Community Center in Newport.

Some participants used adaptive equipment, such as a paint roller attached to their wheelchair, which they rolled forward to paint a mural. Haley had a soft cast placed on her hand, upon which a paintbrush could be attached.

The event was sponsored by the UD Center for Disabilities Studies and Art Therapy Express of Wilmington. The latter is an organization that puts on a weekly event in the county-owned community center.


Read the rest of the News Journal article by Aaron Nathans