Ability Awareness

Introduction

What is something that you are really good at doing? What is something that is harder for you?

We all have things that we are good at, and not so good at doing.

What is best is to have acceptance. Accept what you are good at. Accept what you are not good at. Accept yourself exactly the way you are. And accept others, exactly the way they are.

During our Ability Awareness Program we are going to be doing some activities that will perhaps help you to feel what is like to have different abilities.*

disability [dis-uh-bil-i-tee] (noun) a condition of having a physical or mental impairment

Essential Questions

  • What are some disabilities?
  • What are appropriate ways to communicate sensitively with people with disabilities?
  • What are some ways to support and encourage others to sensitively communicate?

Be patient.

Be honest.

Be welcoming.

Learning about Some Disabilities

Some people have disabilities that you can see right away. For example, some people use wheelchairs to help them get around. People with hearing problems might need to use a hearing aid. People who have trouble seeing might need to use a cane or a guide dog. But some people have disabilities that you can’t see right away. Some kids have learning disabilities like dyslexia. People with dyslexia often have a hard time with words and reading. Another disability you can’t see is called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. Kids with ADHD may have trouble staying focused. Autism is another example of a disability that you can’t see. Kids on the autism spectrum may have difficulty communicating and forming relationships with people. Whether a kid has a disability you can see or not, remember that he is still just a kid! If you try talking to him, you’ll probably discover that you have a lot more in common that you thought.

From Learning About Some Disabilities from Teaching Tolerance

The above link features art by Franklin students created during Ability Awareness Week. Students studied artists who have not let their physical or mental abilities limit their art. The Docents discussed artists who rely on typewriters, feet, chins, mouths and assistants to create. These global artists included: Mariam Paré (Monaco), Fateme Hamami Nasrabadi (Iran), Stephen Wiltshire (United Kingdom), Zuly Sanguino (Columbia), Paul Smith (U.S.A.), Henri Matisse (France), and Chuck Close (U.S.A.).

Heading image: "Aerial view of Manhattan Skyline", pen and pastel, 2011, by Stephen Wiltshire