Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Fourth Grade Disability Awareness Day Update - Volunteers Needed

On Friday, March 25th, 2011, all King fourth grade students will participate in the Disability Awareness Workshop.  Volunteers needed!

This is the fifth year that King Elementary has held this hands-on, activity-based workshop whose main purpose is to help students understand how difficult and complex daily living can be for individuals with a variety of disabilities. The program includes activities centered on an empathetic understanding of physical, speech, hearing, vision and learning impairments. The students participate in a wheelchair obstacle course, wear glasses that give them momentary vision impairments, experience speaking with an electric larynx and complete exercises that simulate several reading disabilities. The goal is for the students to learn -- through this personal experience -- that people should be respected no matter how they may look, act, walk or talk.

This workshop was developed by parents in the Rochester Community Schools Special Education Parent Advisory Committee in 1998. It has now expanded to many schools in Oakland County. In the Ann Arbor Public Schools, the workshop was first held at Logan Elementary School in 2005. In subsequent years, this increased to over a dozen buildings and is now in its seventh year in Ann Arbor.

Please consider volunteering on this day, even if you don’t have a 4th grade student. Think of it as a preview if your child is younger or an opportunity to see what you missed last year if your student is in 5th grade. We need 20-25 adult volunteers to help in the morning from 8:30 am until around noon when the students have their lunch break. You are welcome to remain for the rest of the program (12:45 pm to dismissal).
Past experience proves that this is a fun and meaningful experience for all of our children as well as the volunteers.

Volunteers will be trained to oversee students as they rotate through nine different stations, including:

Physical Impairment Centers: Wheelchairs; Walkers; and Fine Motor Activities
Vision, Hearing and Speech Stations: Hearing & Speech; Vision; and Learning
Accessibility Checklist (students work in teams to complete a checklist that requires
                                        some measuring and math computations)

If you are interested in volunteering, please click here to print and fill out the volunteer form.  Thank you for contributing to the success of the workshop. Please contact me with any questions.

Darla Dubin, 904-5536,
King Parent coordinating the Disability Awareness Workshop