Jamaal Anderson speaks at Little Rock event. (Photo: Oran Hardcastle, THV 11)
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Jamaal Anderson, veteran NFL defensive end for the Cincinnati Bengals and native Arkansan, was the keynote speaker at a luncheon for high school students with disabilities Thursday afternoon.
The event, which took place at the Clarion Hotel Medical Center in Little Rock, was part of a week-long Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) camp for high school students with disabilities which is provided at no cost to the student or family.
Sponsored by the Rehabilitation Services Division of the Arkansas Department of Career Education and the Governor's Commission on People with Disabilities, YLF organizers solicited applications and selected students to spend a week at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway.
During the week-long stay on campus, the students learned about transitioning to higher education, independent living skills, disability rights and experience the latest in assistive technology.
Anderson is from Little Rock and played football for Coach Houston Nutt at the University of Arkansas prior to becoming a first-round NFL draft pick seven years ago. While he has no disability, he is very familiar with the challenges Arkansans with disabilities face because Anderson's father, Dr. Glenn Anderson, PhD., is deaf. Dr. Anderson is a professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and was the first deaf African-American to receive a doctoral degree in the United States.