The Perfect Storm
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At his office on campus in the John Wooden Center, Mick
DeLuca, UCLA's director of cultural and recreational affairs, explains
the unforeseen challenges of being a truly all-inclusive university.
"Before Sean came along," he says, "what we considered
inclusive was providing services upon request. When he came along,
he showed us, with his personal drive and interest, that we could
greatly improve what we offered."
DeLuca says the challenge for UCLA now is not just to make accommodations
on request, but to truly integrate the university's recreational
offerings so that abled and disabled can exercise and recreate side
by side. To that end, the expanded Wooden Center fitness facilities
will include cardio machines retrofitted for disabled users, and
all campus swimming pools are being retrofitted with automated lifts
for wheelchair users and others who are unable to enter the pool
It is nearly noon now on that autumnal Saturday. The classroom
presentation is over and the group breaks for lunch. Gjos wheels
over to the steep, wide ramp leading down to UCLA's dock and looks
out on the water. He's organized several events like this in the
past few months and finds them the most rewarding thing SCORE is
able to provide.
In the five years since his injury, Gjos has remained an avid hockey
fan. He's maintaining a full-time work schedule as an investment
analyst and consultant, and he spends his weekends outdoors, often
maneuvering his hand-pedal bicycle around the Santa Monica bike
Today, the marina waters look a little choppy and someone asks
Gjos if he's worried about being in a kayak.
"No," he says. "I'm looking forward to it."
He pauses a beat, smiles, and adds, "I'm just worried about
how I'm going to get down this ramp."