"What's the percentage of high school kids that get Division I scholarships? Less than one percent? Now he is a one-percenter, He has an opportunity to not only go play Division I football, but also to have an opportunity to quite possibly open some eyes to what is perceived as a disability but in reality is very much not."-Gallaudet football coach Ed Hottle.
Ryan Bonheyo, 18, has become one of the few deaf football players ever to be awarded a Division I scholarship. Statistics show that less than one deaf person a year is awarded a scholarship for Division I sports. Bonheyo, 6'2'' 210lbs, will be playing linebacker and running back for Towson University in the fall.
Coaches have begun learning American sign language and the school is providing interpreters for Bonheyo's classes.
"I'm just glad to have an opportunity to play at a college level," Bonheyo said. "It's a lifelong dream -- get that equal-rights thing going."
Although not a post related to my passions (adventure sports and rock climbing), I felt the need to share this story with MomsTeam users because it is a great example of triumph over adversity, and an indicator of change in top level schools that, despite the 1990 Americans With Disabilities act, often do not recruit differently abled students. Well done and congratulations Ryan! We at MomsTeam will be interested to see how you do playing college sports!