Our Disability Network has been providing a series of Disability Awareness Workshops for TY and LC students in local post-primary schools - the latest in St. Kilian's Community School, Bray, in November 2018.
The workshops are fun and interactive and provide a presentation on disability, including thought-provoking videos, followed by exercises and group work.
Students are given scenarios in advance to research - such as “I’m 18, I love music. My friends are going to Electric Picnic and I want to go! I’m a wheelchair user – how am I going to get there and take part when I am there?” and they then feed back their thoughts, feelings and findings to their peers in a group work session as part of the workshop.
Each workshop also includes a talk from a young person with a disability about their lives, such as Una in the picture shown here, which is rated by students as one of the favourite parts of the workshop.
The students do a 'post-it' note exercise at the start of the workshop - "Write or doodle what pops into your head when you think of the word ‘disability’ "- and then again at the end of the workshop. The difference in comments shows a considerable shift in awareness.
Feedback from the wonderful students who have taken part so enthusiastically to date has been overwhelmingly positive - we are grateful to them, their teachers and the schools for hosting us.
Members, service-users and staff involved in delivering the workshops are from Festina Lente, RehabCare Bray, National Learning Network, Cairdeas, St. Margaret's Donnybrook and Disability Federation of Ireland.