Understanding Disabilities depends on donations to meet our budget each year and continue our programming.
-Karen Feeney, Principal of Joshua Eaton Elementary School
"I want to thank you for hosting Jeff Bauman. I really enjoyed the presentation and thought that he did a wonderful job and shared an inspirational message. Thank you for your continuous efforts to educate our students."
At the elementary level, we teach about six specific disabilities:
Hard of Hearing/ Visual Impairments
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
We also teach about Food Allergies.
UD Classroom Schedule 2016-17 Reading Schools
Check here to see when UD is visiting your child's classroom this year. Please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer to assist in your child's class!
The Autism Spectrum Disorder unit was added in 2011 in partnership with the Reading Public Schools.
Our information, books, videos, and hands-on activities engage students in age-appropriate learning. Each unit introduces students to guests who live with the disability. Children are given the opportunity to speak with their guests and ask open questions about their lives. Time and time again, volunteers and teachers report that students are able to find many areas of common ground, success, and happiness. In the end, the students are able to internalize the message that we are the same on the inside while raising awareness and respect for those with differences.
To reinforce the messages learned in the elementary years and to provide the opportunity for deeper learning, UD expanded its curriculum to include a middle school speaker presentation.
Recent offerings include nationally respected speakers such as:
Travis Roy, who became paralyzed in a BU hockey accident.
Karen Gaffney, who swims the likes of Lake Tahoe and who also has Down Syndrome.
Gianna Hitsos, who at the time was 15 years old, explained to our students what it is like to live with autism and to work everyday to overcome the difficulties it presents to her.
Nico Calabria, born without a right leg or hip, at 13 scaled Mt Kilimanjaro– the first person to ever summit the mountain on crutches. He is currently a member of the US National Amputee Soccer team.
UD speakers are catalysts for middle school students to reflect on the world around them and how we are all the same inside.
Understanding Disabilities, Inc. © 2015
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