Disabilities Awareness & Sensitivity Programs

for Maine elementary school students

The problem

School can be difficult for children who don’t fit in, who don’t look like everyone else, who learn differently, or who can’t keep up in schoolwork, sports, or social situations. These kids are often excluded, teased, or bullied.

The solution

We are changing this.

Our free classroom programs have become an integral part of many Maine schools’ anti-bullying, inclusion, and community-building efforts. We work with one classroom at a time so that students can be involved and engaged in a way that larger groupings don’t allow. Because the programs are so participatory, the children are not only program recipients but also steer each session’s direction and drive the discussion based upon individual experiences and existing school and community dynamics.

The interactive, lively, hands-on activities allow children to:

  • Understand that disabilities are an aspect of human diversity and do not define a person
  • Break down stereotypes about differences and similarities
  • Explore the power of unkind words, exclusion, and bias
  • Identify and roleplay solutions to disability-related mistreatment and bullying
  • Practice empathy and inclusion.

Impact Since 2004

2016 72000 children
2014 57000 children
2010 33000 children
2006 10000 children
2004 3000 children

The results?

By changing attitudes early, we build empathy and understanding, and safer, more inclusive classrooms for everyone. Since 2004, students in almost 5,000 classrooms have heard our message that all differences are entitled to respect and that our similarities far outweigh our differences.

How our programs work

We return to schools year after year and work with students as they progress through the grades. Our vertically aligned curricula build on previous programs presented at each school:

  • For grade 1 – Setting the stage: a read-aloud introduction to disabilities awareness
  • For grade 2 – It’s OK to be different
  • For grade 3 – We’re all OK: Respecting differences and celebrating strengths
  • For grades 4, 5 – How would YOU feel? Hidden challenges, inclusion, and sensitivity
  • For grade 5 – We all do things differently: The importance of strategies and the power of our words
  • For grade 6 – Just kidding vs. bullying, human commonalities, respect, and inclusion

Request a Program

Call Meghan O’Brien: 207.775.9955

Or Complete This Form and we will be in touch