It’s that time of year again; it’s Disability Awareness Month! Although spreading awareness is fantastic, it shouldn’t be necessary. If the world understood that assistive technology enables disabled children to be on the same playing field as other children their ages. Communicating for disabled children catapults them into mainstream society at an early age, so that general education is all the child knows. Disabled children are starting at the toddler age with communicating and driving power wheelchairs allowing them to interact with their peers. This also leads to their abled bodied peers understanding at a young age that their disabled peers are no different from them.
As a result, disabled students are going to be able to discuss their interests and hobbies just like their abled bodied students. Disabled students get the opportunity to discuss how they are also required to do the same graduation requirements as they do to move on to the next grade. The students discuss how they are capable of completing their homework by being able to access the computers with their communication devices. The abled bodied students are able to understand that their disabled peers are just as bright and capable as they are with the academics.
We professionals come into the schools to educate the pupils on the technical aspect of the equipment and how each person can access it. Being a quadriplegic, my part of the “professional” presentation is to discuss how communicating with the devices is no different from talking with their natural voices. I also talk about, how the students can use their quick phrases to demonstrate that they can communicate at a natural level of speed. The occupational therapist and I will then switch gears to discuss how power chairs allows the student to get to class independently as they would if they were walking to class. In Disabilities Awareness Month, we also recognize Diverse Abilities Week. It is my personal goal for the next two generations after ours, to not have to require a Diverse Abilities Week, as our society would hopefully understand that disabled people are just like them.
- Until Next Time, Enjoy Your Children