Sylvie Kostyshin, Ishaan Grewal, and Heena Rai tried out what it would be like to be much shorter than the things around them during Try On A Disability, a Langley Pos-Abilities interactive display. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

Program let students try on a disability

Any group interesting in hosting Try On A Disability can contact the Langley Pos-Abilities Society.

James Hill Elementary students donned baking mitts to open pill bottles, doctored goggles to try and pour a glass of water, and strained to push themselves in wheelchairs.

The lesson on this day was to see a bit of what it’s like to live with a disability. The school played host to an interactive display called Try On A Disability (TOAD).

About 250 students took part in the session which capped off Diversity and Inclusivity Week in the Langley School District.

“We were looking at different forms of diversity,” explained principal Chris Wejr.

While doing research to try and find a presentation on disabilities, they found out there was an option right in their own community.

TOAD is an initiative by Langley Pos-Abilities Society, and while the program has been offered in past at local community events, Friday will be the first time the program is being taken into a local school, announced founder Zosia Ettenberg.

“James Hill Elementary is the first school who has invited us, and we hope that it will be the first of many,” Ettenberg said.

The new school program includes a short talk called “person first, disability last,” to encourage young people to see the person and not just the challenge or disability, Ettenberg said.

That’s followed by a chance for the kids to try on disabilities, including various forms of sight impairment, arthritis, and stroke.

They also had to manoeuvre a wheelchair in order to position themselves to try and shoot a basketball. Ettenberg explained to the students that although she required a wheelchair, she’s still active. She can be found each week at the Langley Curling Club, on the ice, doing the sport.

“We believe that if you can understand the challenges that people face living with a disability, you can accept and include them in your circle of friends. If you start when you are young it will gradually change our community.”

Pos-Abilitites is a non-profit organization started in town eight years ago to help Langley residents change disabilities into possibilities, she explained. It’s intentions are to help local people living with disabilities by providing quality assistive devices for those who could not otherwise afford them, serve as a liaison with other organizations and programs that can help people further their independence, and focus on public education.

“We are so excited because we are hoping to be visiting all the schools in Langley with this program, as well as businesses, to work with their staff,” she said.

To book a TOAD event or find out more about the local organization, people can go online to www.pos-abilities.org.

TOAD brochure

 

James Hill Elementary students had to try and open pill bottles while wearing various kinds of gloves and put jam on a cracker with only one hand at the Try On A Disability interactive display. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

Just Posted

Chilliwack prolific offender wanted yet again

B.C.-wide warrant issued for David Allen Geoghegan

One man, two women charged with stolen pickup downtown Chilliwack

None of the three have criminal history in B.C.

Chilliwack-Hope MP says new summer jobs grant application no longer includes ‘values test’

Those with anti-abortion beliefs left out last year because of requirement to respect the Charter

Enrolment, education assistant increases make for no surprises in updated school district budget

Amended budget reflects 2018-19 changes that were made after recieving provincial funds in Dec.

Prices still rising, Chilliwack real estate back in balanced territory

Local market is steadier compared to points west with higher increase in average sale price

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

VIDEO: Giants wrap southern swing with 6-4 win in Spokane

The Lower Mainland-based hockey team defeated the Chiefs Friday night.

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

Most Read