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"Corky" To Speak At Hudson Valley

CONTACT: Jeff Foley (518) 629-8085 or Sarah Boggess (518) 629-8073

FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Thursday, September 20, 2001

As part of "Abilities Awareness Week," Hudson Valley Community College's Disability Resource Center is proud to present actor, author and singer Chris Burke on October 18 and 19.

Burke is best known as a young actor with Down Syndrome - he played Corky Thatcher on the ABC television series Life Goes On. That was no act, though; the 33-year-old Burke was born with Down Syndrome.

An uplifting national spokesperson for individuals with disabilities, Burke will speak in the field house at Hudson Valley's McDonough Complex from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 18 and from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Friday, October 19.

Both events are free and open to the public.

Burke currently travels the country speaking about overcoming obstacles in everyday life. In addition to his role on Life Goes On, for which he earned a Golden Globe nomination, he was a regular on CBS's Touched by an Angel. Burke also will sing at Hudson Valley. Singer With The Band, an album he released in 1994, sold more than 60,000 copies and garnered him a Parents' Choice Gold Award for Excellence.

The primary goal of Abilities Awareness Week, now in its sixth year, is to heighten awareness of disability-related issues and to provide information regarding access to technological resources for people with disabilities. In addition to Burke's performances, there will be assistive technology demonstrations and a Disability Resource Center open house.

The Disability Resource Center works to assist students with disabilities in the pursuit of their educational objectives. The center's philosophy is that these individuals are students first, and their disabilities are secondary.

Hudson Valley Community College, located in Troy, offers more than 50 degree and certificate programs in four academic divisions: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Science; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 9,000 students each year, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training.