ATHENS, Ohio -- Third-year Ohio volleyball head coach Deane Webb recently participated in 'Challenged By Choice' -- an event put on by the Athens City Commission on Disabilities in which persons from the Athens community are invited to personally experience having a disability at their place of employment.
The purpose of the experience is to raise personal awareness and community awareness of the frustrations, challenging obstacles, personal limitation to cope, accommodations, supports and training needed and business, employer, family, friends and community responsibilities regarding citizens who have a disability.
Webb learned at the orientation to the disability simulation on April 13 that he would have a mobility disability in which he would be confined to a wheelchair. The following day, Webb conducted his morning routine and went to work dealing with the challenges of a mobility disability -- including conducting a morning practice for the Bobcats at the Ping Center.
"The exercise is called 'Challenged By Choice', and, after doing it for a day, I think that's right name," said Webb. "Challenge is how I would describe the day. There are things you take for granted that you don't take for granted anymore just by looking at things differently. It's a good challenge. It's not just bringing awareness to others but just bringing awareness to me, personally, the needs of people around campus that maybe I take for granted."
After completing his day living with a mobility disability, Webb had the opportunity to speak about his experience as part of a Disabilities Speak panel at the Athens Community Center.
The Bobcats went 25-8 in 2015 -- including a 13-3 mark in Mid-American Conference play -- under Webb. Ohio captured the 2015 MAC tournament title to earn the league's automatic bid to the national postseason tournament. The No. 2-seeded Bobcats knocked off No. 3-seeded Kent State, 3-1, in the semifinals before sweeping top-seeded Northern Illinois, 3-0, the following day in the title match. The Green & White secured the ninth conference tournament crown in program history and the program's 10th NCAA Championship berth with the win over the Huskies. Ohio drew No. 13 national seed BYU in the 2015 NCAA Championship First Round. The Bobcats fell to the Cougars, 3-1, in Provo, Utah, on Dec. 4.
In addition to Ohio's 2015 MAC tournament crown, Webb has guided the Bobcats to 48 victories over the past two seasons and a league regular season title in 2014.
Click here to learn more about the Athens City Commission on Disabilities.