By Tammy Van der Kamp
How satisfying to find CPABC’s Disability Awareness Presentations for Elementary Schools are having a real impact on the way youngsters perceive a person who has a disability!
The following excerpts were taken from letters sent to Tammy and PADS Service Dog Breeze from Grades Four and Five at Annieville Elementary School in Delta, after their January 20th Presentation there.
“I never knew that cerebral palsy was a brain injury and it affects your muscles. I learned there is always a way to get past barriers, like going through, around, over, and under.”
“I learned how (Pacific Assistance Service Dog) Breeze helps you with the lights and with cooking.”
“It’s cool that you get to use cool machines.”
“Just because you look different on the outside it doesn’t mean anything on the inside.”
“You really encouraged me to look at things differently.”
It’s gratifying to read comments like these: they indicate that our message is getting through to young people. Kids love the real-life stories about getting around physical barriers – and giving them the opportunity to interact with a real person who has a disability is key to promoting inclusion and removing attitudinal barriers for the next generation.
Finally – PADS Service Dog Breeze the Golden Retriever is amazing – but I don’t let her help with the cooking!