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disABILITY Awareness Highlights Respect & Empathy
disABILITY Awareness Highlights Respect & Empathy

Hilbert Center and Lower School students participated in disABILITY Awareness Week from Aug. 28-Sept. 1. Throughout the week, students took part in several activities presented by the Joseph Maley Foundation (JMF). A program focused on the abilities of all individuals, disABILITY Awareness aims to educate students about the similarities and differences that exist among all of us as unique individuals.

The disABILITY Awareness program builds yearly as students progress from preschool to eighth grade.

  • Junior Kindergarten students are addressed with the focus on "Everybody Plays," no matter the similarities or differences between them.
  • Senior Kindergarteners experience that "Everybody is Different" through hands-on activities and books.
  • First Grade students get to meet a therapy dog and are introduced to adaptive equipment and assistive technology with "Everybody Needs Help."
  • Second Grade focuses on "Blindness and Visual Impairment" with more hands-on activities using Braille and walking canes.
  • Third Grade students discuss "Living with a Disability."
  • Fourth Grade highlights "Learning Disabilities."
  • Fifth Grade introduces "Hearing and Communication Differences" using different devices, sign language, and communication games.

Throughout the week, students enjoyed reading books, watching puppet shows and videos, hearing speakers and having discussions regarding the incredible abilities of individuals with disabilities. The core message of the program is to promote acceptance through respect, empathy, and kindness and to highlight the abilities of all people.