During Inclusive Schools Week in December, Understanding Our Differences presented a unit on Blindness and Low Vision to the Third Graders. After learning about blindness and low vision, the students then participated in three activities which allowed them to get a feel for what it could be like to be blind. They learned how to write their names in braille on a brailler, practiced walking with a cane, and got to see lots of adaptive equipment which helps people who are blind organize their lives.
To conclude the unit, the Third Graders met Pam Fernandez, a Needham resident who is blind. Pam was accompanied by Cameron, her service dog. Pam talked to the students about her life and all that she has been able to accomplish, despite her disability. They also learned how she won a gold medal at the Olympics!
Thanks to parent volunteers who helped facilitate this unit: Sudha Balivada, Carla Brigham, Elisa D’Andrea, Lisa DePalma, David Dubin, Amy Friedman, Helen Haley, Jen Harter, Marmar Mesgarzadeh, Jessica Miquel, and Erica Pond!
In the Fourth Grade, Understanding Our Differences presented the Physical Disabilities unit. This unit focuses on concepts such as Universal Design (UD) and Adaptive Technology (AT). The students were shown how UD is useful and helpful for everyone, whether they have a physical disability or not. They also saw how AT allows people with disabilities lead full lives.
The Physical Disabilities unit concluded with a visit from Jothy Rosenberg, a Newton resident who lost his leg to cancer when he was in high school. He now has a high tech prosthetic leg, which the students got to learn about and see up close. Jothy showed the students a video of himself playing many different sports with his prosthetic leg, and clips from his upcoming TV show. The students learned Jothy’s mantra, “Who says I can’t?”, a statement by which he lives his life.
Thanks to parent volunteers who helped facilitate this unit: Carla Brigham, Lisa DePalma, Elizabeth Graham, Jen Harter, Joanne Hooker, Mary Hoppe Kralis, Jane Lanzillo and Erika Pond!