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UFC Fighter Matt Hamill the keynote speaker at NYM Disability Awareness Day

By WKTV News

NEW YORK MILLS, N.Y. (WKTV) - A professional athlete, who happens to be deaf, spoke to students on Tuesday about being different.

New York Mills School hosts "Disability Awareness Day" every year.

Elementary school kids got a lesson from the Central association of the Blind and Visually Impaired as well as the Freedom Guide Dogs organization.

Students in grades 4-12 heard from UFC Fighter Matt "The Hammer" Hamill, who has accepted life as a role model. He spent the afternoon signing autographs and talking to the kids.

"I want them to have a hope and a dream and I want to give them a positive experience," Hamill said. "A lot of kids look down. I want them to smile. Do the best you can. Don't give up. Follow your dreams."

Hamill says he gets roughly 2,000 emails a week from people seeking a little inspiration.

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