The Ability Awareness Collaboration creatively raises awareness about disabilities by partnering students from the Wall High School Peer Leaders with students from the Ladacin-Schroth School, a private school for disabled students.
The program’s purpose is threefold: The Schroth students have the opportunity to socialize with students from their sending school districts; the Wall students, some of whom have disabilities, develop further awareness and learn to interact with people of varying abilities; and the Schroth students benefit from community-based instruction.
Begun in 2011, the program arranges for students from the two schools to meet for a weekly peer “buddy” program, and an end-of-year luncheon. On their first visit last year, students introduced themselves, some using communication devices, and learned that although they may not communicate in the same way, they love similar things like music and movies.
The students toured each other’s schools, and learned about each other’s sports and proms. On one visit, the Wall students heard from the mother of a Schroth student, who came with the group, and explained about how difficult it is even to do a simple thing such as find handicapped parking when needed. Students considered advocacy measures to help solve that problem.
Contact: Carol Duffy, director of special services, firstname.lastname@example.org
Recognized by the 2014 Innovations in Special Education program