Josh Birnbaum, a lecturer in the School of Visual Communication, is hosting a lecture on his new book, “Dream Shot: The Journey to a Wheelchair Basketball National Championship,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15, in Schoonover Center 145.

Josh Birnbaum, a lecturer in the School of Visual Communication, is hosting a lecture on his new book, “Dream Shot: The Journey to a Wheelchair Basketball National Championship,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15, in Schoonover Center 145.

“Dream Shot: The Journey to a Wheelchair Basketball National Championship” details the 2008 men’s wheelchair basketball team at the University of Illinois and its successful drive toward winning a college national championship.

“Dream Shot: The Journey to a Wheelchair Basketball National Championship” details the 2008 men’s wheelchair basketball team at the University of Illinois and its successful drive toward winning a college national championship.

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OHIO lecturer to discuss new book documenting team’s triumph, disability rights


A lecturer in Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication, Josh Birnbaum will share a behind-the-scenes look at his recently released book documenting a wheelchair basketball team’s journey to a national championship and its contributions to the progress of disability rights.

Birnbaum is hosting a lecture on “Dream Shot: The Journey to a Wheelchair Basketball National Championship” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15, in Schoonover Center 145. The lecture will be followed by a book-signing and a reception in the School of Visual Communication Gallery, which is displaying some of the photos featured in Birnbaum’s book now through Nov. 28. These events are free and open to the public. 

“Dream Shot” details the 2008 men’s wheelchair basketball team at the University of Illinois and its successful drive toward winning a college national championship – a drive that began in 1948 when the university created the first collegiate basketball team in the United States. 

Birnbaum followed and visually documented the team’s coaches and players throughout their epic journey and juxtaposes the team members’ lives with a global social movement for equal opportunities and rights for people with disabilities. Among those who have praised Birnbaum’s work is Jim Scherr, the executive director of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association, who called “Dream Shot” a “fantastic testament to the power, struggle and triumph of wheelchair basketball and the program, coaches and players at the University of Illinois.” 

David Guttenfelder, photographer for National Geographic, said, “Birnbaum’s respectful and big-hearted honest photographs show us that on the court, and especially off the court during their everyday lives, this is a team and a community of champions.”

A photographer and rocket scientist, Birnbaum is a lecturer in the Scripps College of Communication’s School of Visual Communication where he teaches courses on photography, photo editing, digital imaging and audio/video storytelling. He holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Illinois and a master’s degree in photography from Ohio University.