In Rethinking Disability Simulations - Part I, I shared with you one self-advocate’s view that disability simulation activities do not work to change long-term attitudes about disabilities. I took this to heart and have begun to rethink my own practice. So, what are some alternatives to disability simulations for teaching disability awareness?
1. Watch a few Public Service Announcement (PSA) videos as a class. Here are some suggestions:
Discuss the message of each PSA and the collective message with students. Connect the message to Jewish text. Give students an opportunity to create their own PSA.
2. Read a number of children’s books where the main character has a disability.
Cakes and Miracles: A Purim Story
Joey Pigza (any of the books, really)
Discuss the message of each story with students, connecting the message to Jewish values. Give students the opportunity to create their own children’s books and share them with younger students.
3. Give students the opportunity to assess the synagogue for accessibility. Provide them with a checklist or survey from sites such as http://www.ada.gov/ or http://www.wbdg.org/resources/assesstools.php
Do you have other suggestions?