A group of elementary school children are learning about abilities by experiencing disabilities firsthand.

Experiencing Disabilities FirsthandIn Ability Awareness, students learn what people with disabilities experience.  They engage in activities such as trying to communicate without using words, tying shoes while wearing gloves, and write their names in Braille.

The exercises being conducted at Griffin Creek Elementary School are part of the Medford School District’s Ability Awareness Campaign. The Special Education Parent Outreach Committee proposed the campaign, and it was piloted at several different elementary schools the previous year.

“We call it ‘Ability Awareness,’ because we want kids to focus on the fact that we all have abilities even though we’re different,” said special education specialist Vanessa Campbell. “It’s about acceptance and awareness.”

During the next month, Campbell will visit all district elementary schools and speak with fourth graders about types of disabilities.  She will conduct simulations in order to give them a better understanding of the challenges.

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