It’s been an amazing week the one dedicated to disabilities at our school. We discovered, read, analyzed, comprehended and felt so many emotions about every type of disability. Everything has been plausible thanks to two wonderful people and their creation: Paul Shaw and Katie Quartano and their “baby”, the http://www.disabled-accessfriendly.com/ site.
Teachers can find lesson plans, videos, worksheets and ideas for any level and any occasion! There is a truly great variety of material that we had to extend our themed week for more five days! And what days they were!
We learnt a lot, that is the truth. So many wonderful thoughts and feelings came out through the lessons. Nevertheless, the most astonishing fact was that almost every student shared something of their lives that they normally wouldn’t do so. So many have a person in their lives, a relative, a friend or a member of their immediate family who is disabled. It was an opportunity to share and teach to everyone else, including teachers, their knowledge on the subject.
Try it and you won’t regret it! Both teachers and students can take a break from the usual course book lesson plan and be free to express themselves! Creativity really flew in the classroom, for instance, students had many ideas about projects and homework!
The following notes were written by some of the students.
Many people are disabled. They are people like us, though. They aren’t like children or aliens from another planet. They are exactly like us. They understand like everybody else and they feel things. Act normal around them!
I learned a lot about disabilities. I had already known a lot about them, because one of my classmates is disabled. However, I never knew how to properly talk to them. I always thought that offering to help them makes them feel happy, which isn’t true! It makes them feel kind of unable to do things on their own. Don’t be afraid of them so they won’t be afraid of you! I learned that I shouldn’t stand over them, or pat their heads and their shoulders as if they were little children. The disabled are not different. All people are different because they are unique!
Ask before you ‘help’ a disabled person. You should always ask for permission before you do something. They don’t need our pity. They need us to show them we don’t care about their disability and behave normally.
We need to behave in a normal way. Don’t talk to disabled people like they’re children or stupid! They’re not! My brother is dyslectic, my uncle is missing an arm and one of my schoolmates is on a wheelchair. But it’s good for some people to learn how to behave to them, because they behave in a stupid way and they make the disabled people upset.
It doesn’t matter how beautiful you look on the outside, but how beautiful you are inside.
Don’t underestimate disabled people. They don’t need either our compassion or our pity. At least, no more than anyone else. I think we must share with everyone our happiness and our sadness. Don’t ask them what their problem is. Do you ask anyone you see if they have a problem?
We aren’t different. We can do the same things we do also with disabled people. Don’t make them feel bad or awkward about their disability. Respect everyone at any time if you want other people to respect you!
Please, visit the site and get inspired! It’s never too late to do something different in class!