January 21, 2010

"A Touch of Understanding"

Kurt and I attended an assembly today at the girls school. It was a program that teaches kids about people with disabilities. We really enjoyed it and think they did a wonderful job.

The first part had 5 hands-on/interactive stations:
1. they had wheelchairs for the kids to push themselves around in so they get an understanding of how it would feel to be in a wheelchair
2. a table with a lot prosthetics for the kids to look at and touch and learn about
3. a table where they discussed "silent" disabilities like autism and dyslexia. They had long mirrors on the table for the kids and they had to look in the mirror and write on their paper to understand the frustrations of dyslexia and they had earphones where we listened to how it sounds for people who have autism.
4. a table where they learned about braille and were able to write their names
5. they had walking sticks and we had to walk with our eyes closed only using the sticks to find our way.

After that we went to another room where they had people talking with different disabilities. There was a girl, Anna, who was born with cerebral palsy and she spoke with the help of a talking computer. There was a guy, Mike, who fell off his roof at the age of 23 and suffered a serious brain injury. He has not been able to talk since his accident and he also had the use of a voice computer (synthesizer). There was a guy, Paul, who hydroplaned his car when he was 19 and suffered a brain injury. There was a 13 year old girl, Jordan, who has dyslexia. She sang 2 songs on her guitar and did a really good job. There was another guy, Mike, who was in a race car accident on the salt flats in Utah and lost both his hands. He had two electronic hands that were very impressive.

They did a great job explaining to the kids and showing them that people with disabilities are people too and that they want to have friends, that they have feelings and that they want to be loved just like anybody else. They also did a great job about teaching the kids to make the best out of every situation and that people with disabilities can do a lot of great things. It was an amazing assembly.

It was so neat to see an uplifting, educational, motivational assembly like this. We found out that they are located right here in Granite Bay and they are trying to expand locally, statewide, and someday, nationally. They are an amazing program and we hope they succeed. We think EVERYONE should go to this! If you are interested, their website is: www.touchofunderstanding.org.

Here is a video from their website:

Okay, so the video isn't working but you can see it on their website.


Nikki said...

That's so cool. I think for some reason, it is easy to be scared of a "disability." The truth is that none of us are perfect. I am going to forward this info to my sister who is a special ed teacher.

Hope your mom is feeling better!

Paul White said...

good post!!