Antietam Elementary School holds “Together We Are Better” event
Posted on 05/31/2019
Students at the communication station at Antietam ES

At Antietam Elementary School’s recent Disability Awareness Event students, teachers, administrators, and volunteers came together to learn about and appreciate what a student with disabilities experiences throughout a regular school day. Under the theme of “Together We Are Better,” participants spent the day rotating through different activities that provided the opportunity to experience a variety of disabilities.

The event was spearheaded by Elizabeth Cudd, a teacher of students with intellectual disabilities at Antietam, who noticed that students who were not in special education classrooms did not understand the challenges and needs experienced by students with disabilities. Using funds from a grant awarded by Virginia Commonwealth University, Cudd worked with other special education teachers to design the activities for the disability awareness event.

Six different activities helped to simulate some of the challenges a student with disabilities may face, including vision, hearing, communication, sensory, mobility, and learning. At the vision station, students wore blacked out glasses/goggles and other students at the table had to tell them through directions how to complete the puzzle on the table. The hearing station required students to use ear-plugs while trying to follow verbal directions, and the communication station had students using different communication tools and devices to answer questions from their group.

The sensory activity was in a room with loud music/sounds playing, bubble wrap on the floor, and different areas where students could use or manipulate items with their hands such as sand, beads, and shaving cream. The mobility activity featured an obstacle course using walkers and wheelchairs. Finally, the learning disability activity was in the gym, where students solved problems in a team where the parts of the problem were out of order or missing.

Helping students, teachers, and volunteers to appreciate and understand what it means to be a person with a disability is Positively PWCS!