November 29, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Evergreen Valley College Marketing and Community Relations
Evergreen Valley College Disabled Students Need Support, Not Pity
Sometimes, when Lee Williamson is getting his wheelchair out of the van, a passerby will stop to ask if he needs help. “Yeah,” Lee will say, “With my rent!” For the last 10 years, Lee has played for the Golden State Road Warriors Wheelchair Basketball Team, and he has no time for self-pity. Lee spoke at an event on the Evergreen Valley College campus on behalf of the Disability Students Program, which provides support services and instructional programs for students with disabilities, including Attention Deficit Disorder, dyslexia, speech impairments, and physical impairments like Williamson’s.
Before the 1991 motorcycle accident that left him a paraplegic, Williamson was aimless, stuck in a job with no future. Now Williamson is earning general education credits at Evergreen Valley College to transfer to a four-year institution. He says the one-on-one and small group tutoring in subjects ranging from basic math to English have really helped him enjoy the process of learning.
Williamson also works for the City of San Jose in The Office of Therapeutic Services as a Recreational Leader and helps run their Adaptive Programs in wheelchair tennis, wheelchair basketball, adaptive golf, adaptive bowling and adaptive fitness. He coaches their junior wheelchair program, Wheels on Fire. In the summer, he helps run a junior sports camp at San Jose State University.
He says people ask him whether he wishes he could walk again. “I’d prefer that my father were still alive, “ he replies. Williamson’s father died one year before his motorcycle accident. “He would have been my best coach.”
Lee muses that becoming paraplegic has made him stronger; he has also found tremendous support from mentors and instructors. Now he mentors others.
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ABOUT Evergreen Valley College
With student learning as its primary focus, Evergreen Valley College’s mission is to embrace its students, to validate, nurture and celebrate them so that they may succeed in a global, multicultural society. The College, which sits on a picturesque 175-acre site in the eastern foothills of San Jose, provides access to comprehensive and flexible post-secondary education to prepare students of all ages and backgrounds for balanced and productive lives and to improve the workforce and quality of life in our community.