I do not work in a school (even if I did I would not have time to complete this task). However, I would like to share a story about a girl that was in my second grade class. Her name was Gretchen and she had a mobile disability. She was very small, her legs weren’t developed correctly and she had to wear full leg braces and used crutches. One day I was playing outside at recess. I had a ball and Gretchen came and took it off of me without asking. I told the teacher and she said I shouldn’t be so mean and should let Gretchen have the ball even if she didn’t say please. Even at this very young age, I knew this was wrong. None of the children liked Gretchen because of this special treatment she received. Gretchen needed to be taught manners just like every other child. By giving her want she wanted, the adults in her life were doing her a huge disservice. I often wonder what type of adult Gretchen became. Just like the etiquette states, people with disabilities want and should be treated equally.
I took the quiz and got one wrong. I am not sure I agree with the “correct” answer. Why would I extend my right hand if I clearly see that they would need to shake my left hand? I don’t understand this. This is the same curtsy I would extend to anyone, disabled or not, like if someone was holding their coffee in one hand.
When I read about finding an independent living center I immediately thought of Clelian Heights, http://www.clelianheights.org/index.htm. This is a school for the developmentally disabled and also has residential apartments for men, women and children. In my special education undergrad class, we designed a lesson plan for the children at Clelian Heights and got to go there and teach it. The residential program
“provides life skills training, community recreational and leisure activities, structured therapeutic activities and numerous opportunities for individual involvement in community events”. Clelian Heights is run by the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
These are the websites I found:
http://www.pluk.org/AT1.html This website is geared toward families that have a child that could benefit from assistive technology. It is very informative and gives examples of how assistive technology has helped other children in the past. Also, it provides many other resources for parents that may be looking for assistive technology devices, training and/or funding.
http://www.ataccess.org/ This is the Alliance for Technology Access (ATA) website. It is operated through a collaboration of people with disabilities, family members, and professionals in related fields. Their mission is to supply all people that need assistive technology with education and the know how to get it.
http://www.resna.org/ RESNA stands for Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America. The promote research and education of everything related to assistive technology to improve the lives of people with disabilities. It is a bit expensive for a membership, $150 but would seem to be well worth it for all the network benefits.
http://www.uchsc.edu/atp/aboutUs.html Their mission statements is “for persons with cognitive, sensory, and/or physical disabilities to reach their highest potential at home, school, work and play through the addition of appropriate assistive technologies to their lives.” I see that they help with getting people and companies funding for assistive technologies.
http://www.agrabilityproject.org/index.cfm I thought this was a really cool site. The AgrAbility Project supports people with disabilities that are working in the agricultural field. They assist with obtaining grants, on-farm assessments, training and technical assistance (just to name a few services).