DisABILITIES Awareness at Henderson Embraces Different Abilities

Posted on 11/28/2018
DisABILITIES Awareness at Henderson Embraces Different Abilities

Students at Henderson Elementary learned that different abilities aren’t disabilities at their annual DisABILITIES Awareness Week. FHSD Occupational Therapist Martha Hefner coordinated a variety of activities and speakers to help students understand that just because someone has different abilities, doesn’t mean they don’t deserve friendship, kindness, and compassion.

“DisABILITIES Awareness is designed to bring awareness and understanding to our students about the day-to-day challenges of those who have a disability,” said Hefner.

Six different assemblies were put on for the students. Hefner arranged for a variety of people to come in to talk about their day to day life and answer student’s questions. The speakers represented a wide range of different abilities, and students heard from the Down Syndrome Association, Little People of America, a physically impaired FHSD student, and more. Each grade level attended a different assembly, so students got to hear from a wide variety of people with different abilities during their time at Henderson.

In PE class, students were assigned abilities different than their own and asked to play a game. A few students had their fingers and hands taped to mimic a birth defect. Other students were asked to play with ear muffs on to simulate being deaf. To impair vision, goggles with tape or paint over the lenses were worn during the game as well.

Despite their assigned ability, the students still managed to help each other out. Students with arthritis (simulated with socks over their hands) were pushing students in wheelchairs. But even with assistance, some students had an easier time than others. “The wheelchair was hard,” said fifth grader Katie H. “I couldn’t spread my fingers out, so I had to stack the beanbags on my hand,” said fellow classmate Taylor H.

With the lessons learned during DisABILITIES Awareness week, the students at Henderson are ready to embrace different abilities and create new friends.

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