A sensitivity awareness training was held at Spring Creek Elementary for 21 fourth-grade students last week.
The students learned about different types of disabilities and then experienced for themselves what these disabilities might feel like.
They traveled to six different stations where they learned to simulate a specific disability as well as performed an activity to demonstrate what it would be like to have that disability.
The stations included: fine motor disabilities, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, communication disabilities, visual impairments, perceptual misinterpretation, and an equipment station explaining ways to improve mobility and gross motor skills.
Examples of activities include mirror writing, buttoning a shirt with gardening gloves, learning sign language, and manipulating a wheelchair obstacle course while wearing glasses to simulate a visual impairment.
Students also interacted with many special needs peers at Spring Creek throughout the different stations to encourage integration and socialization.
The training was organized and designed by Katie Truxton, the Functional Skills teacher at Spring Creek Elementary, and Mia Wheeler’s 4th grade students were the participants. In addition, many community members and staff came together to become involved and contributed to this important learning opportunity. These members included: Darla Betlach (Occupational Therapist), Priscilla Weaver (Physical Therapist), Theresa Thompson (School Nurse), Stacie Wiesenbaugh (parent of student), Leslie Goldenberg (Speech Language Pathologist) Carol Phipps (Life Skills teacher) and her students, Sandra Magnante (helping teacher), Brandy Harris (helping teacher), Nancy Austin (helping teacher), and Kathy Robertson (helping teacher).
The training was a huge success! Students gained understanding of how hard it can be to have a disability and why it is important to be considerate and kind. They are doing writing follow up activities on their experiences and how the activities made them feel.
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