The visual and performing artist is also a gold medalist in the Special Olympics

TACOMA, Wash. –Bates Technical College will host local visual and performing artist Dylan Kuehl at the annual Disability Awareness Day on Thursday, Oct. 26, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The free and open-to-the-public event will be held at the college’s Downtown Campus Auditorium, 1101 S Yakima Ave., in Tacoma.

An advocate for people with disabilities, Kuehl is an ambitious artist who performs live in community dance events. Kuehl will speak about how living with Down syndrome is not the obstacle others often perceive it to be. He has won several art contests and has had his work published in numerous publications. He is a Special Olympics gold medalist, studies modern, tap and hip-hop dance as well as martial arts, and is a fierce rock-n-roll drummer.

“The annual Disability Awareness Day is designed to help people expand their understanding of the issues surrounding disabilities,” said Juliette Kern, manager of student activities. “It also increases awareness of the celebrations and the challenges individuals with disabilities experience.”

About 56.7 million people — 19 percent of the U.S. population — had some level of disability in 2010, with more than half of them reporting the disability was severe, according to a 2012 U.S. Census Bureau report. Locally, Bates’ Disability Support Services office serves nearly 200 students annually.

The college’s Associated Student Government will offer free pizza for students with a valid Bates student ID, $5 for non-students, while it lasts. Visit or call the Diversity Center at 253.680.7178 to learn more about this free community event.