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University Relations

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June 10, 2005
Contact: Karen Henry, Schiefelbusch Life Span Institute, (785) 864-0756.

KU student selected for summer congressional disabilities internship


LAWRENCE -- The American Association of People with Disabilities has selected a University of Kansas undergraduate for one of its eight paid summer internships for students with disabilities to work in congressional offices in Washington, D.C.

Zachary Coble, Winfield junior in political science and applied behavioral science, will spend the summer in the office of Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass. Coble is the son of Van and Jeannette Coble and is a graduate of Winfield High School.

Coble hopes the internship will help him form a better understanding of the intricacies and functions of government and will be a jumping-off point to pursue his lifelong goal of reshaping the way society views disability: not as a hindrance, but as a trait to be respected.

At KU, Coble is president of Able Hawks campus disability-awareness group and alumni relations chair for Stephenson Scholarship Hall. During the spring 2005 semester he earned college credit as a public service intern for Kansas Rep. Judy Showalter, D-Winfield.

Among his extensive disability-related student volunteer activities are student leader for the Project DOVE youth volunteer voter-awareness program and team member of both the Kansas Youth Leadership Forum and member of the preconference planning committee for the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living. He is a member of the Derby Free Spirits track team for youth and adults with disabilities. Coble is employed by the KU Research and Training Center for Independent Living during the academic year.

The program is made possible by a grant from the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation established in 2002 to provide college and university students with firsthand knowledge of the legislative and political process as well as a unique learning experience to enrich their educational endeavors and enhance their future career opportunities.

The American Association of People with Disabilities, the country's largest cross-disability membership organization, promotes the economic and political empowerment of children and adults with disabilities.

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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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