Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Disability Awareness

The Guides and Pathfinders started December off with a meeting focusing on Disability Awareness in honour of the International Day for People With Disabilities (December 3rd).

As the girls arrived, they were asked to fill out a card with ideas for activities and badges for the second half of the year. We then opened with our horseshoe and an active game (Romeo & Juliet) led by the Active Living patrol.

Our first activity, called Concentration, came from the Girl Guides of Canada Instant Meeting (found here). This activity explores what it might be like to have a disability that limits your ability to concentrate or causes you to be sensitive to noise. The girls were divided into two groups and each girl was given a role:
  • Girl #1 - This girl has the concentration disability. Her job is to focus on what Girl #2 is saying. She tries to ignore everything else.
  • Girl #2 - This girl reads a few sentences from a book to Girl #1 using her normal voice (not trying to raise her voice above the background noise).
  • Girl #3 - This girl stands close to Girl #1 and tells a joke over and over (we used "Why was 6 afraid of 7? Because 7 8 9!")
  • Girl #4 - This girl starts behind Girl #1 and walks around her in circles clapping her hands.
  • Girl #5 - This girl stands next to Girl #1 and pats her on the shoulder.
  • Girl #6 - This girl stands somewhere in the room and makes a typical classroom noise (i.e. opening and closing a door, pushing a chair in and out),
After completing this activity, we talked about how difficult it was for anyone, especially the Girl #1s, to hear what Girl #2 was saying. We discussed how the girls might feel if they had difficulty concentrating and had to manage with all sorts of distractions.

Our next activity was to complete an Accessibility Audit of our meeting place. Each patrol was given the form below and sent to explore the church.
Following the Accessibility Audits, we moved onto a Patrol Challenge. Each patrol had to complete a series of challenges, but each patrol member would have a different simulated disability! The disabilities were: visual impairment (blindfold), hearing impairment (cotton balls and scarf), loss of use of legs (sit in a chair), loss of fine motor skills (oven mitts), and loss of use of dominant hand and arm (tied in a sling). The challenges were:
  1. Choose a shape. Each patrol member needs to make the chosen shape out of newspaper.
  2. Each patrol member must write their name on their newspaper shape and tape it as high as possible on the door.
  3. As a patrol, build the tallest structure you can that will support a roll of masking tape, using only the provided straws and tape. All patrol members must actively participate.
 

Our final was to learn a bit about foot and mouth painting and to try writing our names and drawing a simple picture with the pencil held between the toes.


We ended the meeting with a debriefing session about what it might be like to have various disabilities, and how the girls felt about their experiences. All of the girls gained some insight into the challenges of having a disability, and also a better appreciation of how having a disability doesn't mean you can't do things - you just might do them a bit differently. The meeting closed with reminders for next week and Taps.