With World Down Syndrome Day and Autism Awareness Month right around the corner, this is the perfect time to think about hosting your own disability awareness day to help students throughout your school better understand different types of disabilities!
Last year, I used this Disability Awareness Day Kit from The Bender Bunch to host a schoolwide awareness day for 3rd-5th graders. I was lucky enough to have a principal that let me get a sub for the day to run this wonderful event. I set aside about an hour and 15 minutes per session and did each grade level at their own time. For the event, I sent out parent volunteer forms and got parents to sign up for a time slot to help run a table!
Traci from The Bender Bunch included so many great things for me to use during this event. There are some things that you need to grab ahead of time that you’ll see in my pictures, but overall it was really just making copies, finding volunteers, and setting up the stations!
For my event, I created my own questionnaire to send out to teachers about a week before the event to have their students fill out. This gave me a great idea what they knew about disabilities already, what questions they had, etc. They answered a very similar questionnaire after the event so I could see what they learned! I also spend about 15 minutes at the end of the the event talking to each grade level about ways they can be a good friend to someone with a disability, asking them questions about what they learned, and answering any lingering questions. Overall, it was a GREAT success! In the future, I’d love to do it again (with help!). I did this event last year all on my own and although it turned out amazing, I would love to do it again with a little less stress (and someone to help me answer questions, those kids had some awesome questions!).
Each station was set up at a table like this with everything you needed to run the station smoothly!
I grabbed a bunch of gloves from our school lost and found and had the students trying to pick up pennies, tie their shoes, etc. It was eye opening for them!
Finger spelling word puzzles, these were awesome!
One of our stations had Google Chromebooks set up with a couple different things. One was white noise where they had to listen to the white noise while doing the specified activity. I also had some set up to show them a video through the eyes of someone with Autism. They all loved this! I e-mailed the Autism video to classroom teachers in case someone didn’t get a turn. You can see the video HERE.
I loved this station. All of the kids were like “I can’t see that!!!” and I’m like “that’s the point ;-)” haha!
Have you ever done something similar at your school? If not, I highly recommend doing it! This event was a huge eye opener and big hit!