The path to equality for all
Teaching materials for primary and special education

Guide for Teachers

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Our challenge

Transform the society in which you live.
Make the world more inclusive for people with disabilities.
Realise that you can change things.

As in previous editions, these teaching materials are not mandatory to take part. They are just a suggestion, a tool that we think will be useful for teachers to help their students to better understand the issues dealt with in this edition and to make it simpler to address the participative work.

Before you begin, we suggest a simple questionnaire to assess your students' perceptions of disability before carrying out the dynamics proposed in this teaching material.

Access the questionnaire. Categoría A Access the questionnaire. Categoría B, C y D

Step one. Perceive.

In this first session we will use an adaptation of one of the thinking routines developed by Richthart, Church and Morrison (2011) for Harvard’s Zero project. It is called the 3 2 1 Bridge routine and we will use it to identify students’ baseline knowledge of disability, and to see changing it can provide them with new information.

For this session, all we need is graphic organiser from the 3 2 1 Bridge routine, the videotestimonials from the project and an hourglass or analogue clock.

We tell the students the aim of this thinking routine, and we suggest some team work using the “Pencils in the Middle!” cooperative technique so that students with no prior experience with disability can work with others who do have some experience. Each team assigns a spokesperson.

To carry out this routine, the students are given a graphic organiser of the 3 2 1 Bridge routine.

The session is organised as follows:

  1. First of all, we take some time as a team to remember what we know about disability. We open our memory chests to recall the people with disabilities we have known, if we have known any, the people with disabilities we have heard about, or simply the times in our lives when, due to an injury or accident, we have suffered temporary limitations in mobility, vision, hearing and/or communication similar to those suffered chronically by people with disabilities. Each member of the team shares their experiences with their colleagues.

    Each team is provided with some material, Appendix I, consisting of a sheet with words and images that can help activate our students' memories and experiences with disability.

  2. Then we ask each student to take their graphic organiser and to write down the first three words that come to mind when they think of disability. This is an individual task, even through we are working as a team.

    What if the students are not readers and writers and communicate using other systems?

    To ensure that all the students are able to participate, in accordance with the Universal Design for Learning principles (DUA), we can use a template like the one in Appendix I, that contains additional words and images, if needed, so that all the students can pick the three words or images that they associate with disability.

  3. We share our three words with the rest of the class. To do this, a spokesperson from each team will share the key words, explaining their memories and experiences.

    The teacher can write the key words on the blackboard, making a note every time the same key word is used and the connections between the different key words.

  4. Then we will go back to the "Pencils in the centre!" dynamic and ask the teams which two questions come to mind after thinking about their experiences with disability. The team will have to discuss and think about the questions which these experiences generate. After the discussion, each student goes to their graphic organiser and writes down the two questions agreed upon by the team. The answer can be presented in different formats: audio, visual thinking, drawing, writing... All the resources available to the teacher can be used, although some of them are not accessible to everyone.

  5. Finally, to complete the first pillar of the 3 2 1 Bridge routine, we ask each team to think of a short metaphor or analogy to finish the sentence “Having a disability is like…”. After the reflection, each student must go to their graphic organiser and record their answer individually. The answer can be presented in different formats: audio, visual thinking, drawing, writing...

  6. Using the same dynamic as in step 3, we will share the questions and then the metaphors suggested by the students.

Finally, when the first pillar of the 3 2 1 Bridge routine is complete, we show the students the Grupo Social ONCE video testimonials. These audiovisual pieces show some situations faced by people with disabilities in four key areas: Leisure, Education, Employment and Universal Accessibility.

The first session should take around 45 minutes.

Step two. Reflect

During the second session, we will tell the students about the goal of the project or challenge, and have a discussion about initial thoughts and proposals for different strategies or ways of improving inclusion in the four areas analysed.

To do this, we suggest you divide your students into four groups of more or less the same size. Each group will initially be asked to come up with suggestions and ideas to improve inclusion of people with disabilities in a specific territory or area. However, all the groups will work on all the areas and territories.

We recommend that you form the groups ahead of time to ensure that they have a minimum degree of similarity in terms of learning difficulties, special educational needs, personality, etc. Doing so will avoid grouping students with learning profiles that are not particularly complementary, which may happen if they are left to form the groups themselves.

The dynamic of the second session is as follows:

  1. Each group is initially assigned a territory.

  2. We read these short stores about the different territories to help them to understand the problems we are addressing:

    Short stories proposed for the leisureterritory:

    Peter is extroverted and very cheerful. Peter is also deaf. Peter loves playing hide and seek with his friends, but he can’t hear them when they call him.

    John is blind and he loves playing with his school friends at break time. Mary, John’s friend, wants to be sure that John can play football and all the other sports he and his school friends like to do every day.

    Anne uses a wheelchair to get about. When she is in the car with her parents and she sees a park, she sees children playing on the swings. Anne would love to be able to play on the swings.

    Mary is tall and she is autistic. Mary cannot tolerate waiting for more than a minute. When she has to wait any longer, she gets very upset and leaves. Mary can’t give her letter to Father Christmas because she cannot wait in like the other children.

    Short stories in the area of education:

    Tony never misses any of his basketball team’s games. He loves playing with his friends on Saturdays. Tony uses a wheelchair to get about. His parents are worried because they don’t know if Tony’s new secondary school is adapted to allow him to do physical education with his classmates.

    John has loved cooking since he was a little boy. His parents prepare step-by-step recipes for him with pictures, because John doesn’t use many words and basically communicates with images. John would like a job in a kitchen, and wants to do a vocational training course.

    Lucy absolutely loves design. She wants to do vocational training to become a fashion designer. Lucy is deaf. She doesn't know whether the course she wants to do is accessible.

    Anthony has a visual impairment. He can recognise objects when they are very close. Anthony can't wait to start at his new school. His parents have asked for an appointment with the teacher before the school year starts to make sure that Anthony has the same learning opportunities as his classmates.

    Valerie is sensitive to noise. When the other students move their desks and chairs about in the classroom, Valerie finds the noise painful rather than just annoying. She has to leave the classroom and find somewhere quiet where she can calm down. The same happens with the bell that rings every day to tell students when classes and break times start and finish.

    Short stories for the territory universal accessibility:

    Eric loves walking about in the city. Eric has autism and communicates with images. However, all the buildings in the city look the same to him. He can never find the museum or the cinema or the library unless his parents take him there, because the doors to the buildings don’t have images on them that he can understand.

    Pictogram that shows a cinema, with numbered seats and the screen, an image projected on the screen and a couple embracing.
    Pictogram that shows a drawing of an official building, a museum.

    Tom is crazy about football. He never misses any of his team's matches. Tom uses a wheelchair to get about. Tom and his friends meet before the season starts to anticipate any difficulties that Tom might encounter when he goes into his team’s stadium or visits those of other teams.

    Mary’s end-of-year school trip is almost here. She can’t wait to go, but she would like to know whether she is going to be able to follow what is going on and whether she can take part. Mary is deaf and communicates with sign language.

    Short stories for the territory employment:

    Richard loves computers. He loves programming. Richard is blind. A leading company is considering giving him a job. They want Richard to do good work and to feel welcome in the company.

    Mark is autistic, and like many other young people with autism, he is extremely good at classifying images and finding errors in computer codes. Mark wants to work, to earn a living, to be independent, just like any young person. Mark’s parents help him to find a company that will give him an opportunity to work.

    Anne has been selected for a work experience placement at a firm of lawyers in the city centre. Anne uses a wheelchair to get about. Anne is worried because she doesn’t know if the law practice offices will be adapted to allow her to work, use the lavatories, etc.

  3. Arrange the desks in the classroom to create four big work areas or stations, made up of one or more desks without chairs. Put plenty of Kraft paper in each of these work centres. Write the following on each piece of Kraft paper:

    “What are your ideas or thoughts on how to improve the inclusion of people with disabilities in our community in leisure activities?”

    In this case, ask the team that has been assigned the leisure area to answer this question by thinking about their immediate surroundings: neighbourhood, village, school... we want them to connect the concept with their daily lives.

    Example: Set up an inclusive games club in the local youth centre.

  4. Assign the same colour of marker pens to each group so you can tell which group has written what at each work station.

  5. Allow each group 7-10 minutes to write down all their proposals, ideas, and thoughts about the territory.

    What if the students are not readers and writers and communicate using other systems?

    To ensure that all the students are able to participate, regardless of the communication systems used, we suggest you use the Padlet platform instead of Kraft paper. Padlet allows for different means of expression such as audios, drawing files, videos, links, etc. The ideal situation would be to generate four Padlets, one per territory, so that the teams revolve around the Padlets.

  6. After the stipulated 7-10 minutes, each group visits the other work stations in a clockwise direction. This allows, each group to build on the previous group's work, stressing the ideas they feel are more important and adding ideas to the ones suggested initially by specialised teams.

  7. The groups continue to rotate every 7-10 minutes until each group has visited all four work stations.

  8. Each group goes back to the Kraft papers in their own territory and they read the contributions made by the other classmates together. Now is the time to select the proposal they feel is the strongest.

  9. Then, the whole class stands around one of the work stations to share the selected proposal aloud. The teacher then asks the whole class group the following question:

    What do we need to know to be able to put this proposal into practice?

    To answer the question, we suggest a brainstorming session in the form of a “word cloud” that the teacher can either write on the blackboard or use a digital format. These answers are organised by the teacher and made into a list of concepts that we need to know, which will be basis for our work in the third phase.

    This is a time for reflection, debate, connecting ideas and proposals, emphasising that students understand which information they need to know to be able to bring their suggestion to life.

    The pieces of Kraft paper on which the students have written or the Padlet, are a basic piece of information for the third step.

Step three. Understand.

Part 1:

Working with the “list of concepts we need to know”, each group makes a summary of the information they have found for each concept. This summary can be presented by each team as a Mental Map or as Visual Thinking.

As additional information, completed projects can be added (the Grupo Social ONCE or other institutions) which will be helpful when it comes to connecting the information provided with the work to be carried out in phase 4.

When the summary is complete, the whole group shares its findings and summarises the information found.

Part 2:

When they have processed the information, go back to the 3 2 1 Bridge routine and complete the second column of the bridge. To do this, we will use the following dynamic:

  1. Returning to the "Pencils in the Centre!" technique, ask each team to think again about the three words that come to mind when they think about disability. When the students have done this individually, they go to their graphic organiser and, on the back, the part they have not yet used, they express these three words.

    What if the students are not readers and writers and communicate using other systems?

    In the same way as we did with the first pillar of the bridge, and to that all the students can take part, we propose using a template like Appendix I , which contains additional words and images, so that the students can select the three words or images that they associate most with disability.

    You can also use a group Padlet where students can express their needs by means of audios, picture archives, videos, links, and so on, if they need to.

  2. We will use the same work dynamic to answer the two questions that come to mind when they think about disability.

  3. Finally, we ask them to complete the metaphor or analogy that makes it possible to finish the statement “Having a disability is like …”.

  4. Now we compare the words, questions and analogies we came up with during the first session with the ones we have written now. Ask some volunteers to share their “bridge” with the rest of the class so that everyone can discuss what they have learned from this project.

To finish second part, we propose a new activity that further highlights the difference between students' initial knowledge of disability and the knowledge they have acquired by this stage. The activity is called, “I used to think..., now I think...”. Use the resources to ensure that all the students can take part. In other words, ask them to write down their statements and allow them a reasonable, flexible time to do so. Alternatively, use a Padlet so that everyone can take part in the activity if there are students who do not communicate in writing.

After allowing the students a reasonable time, in this case individually, complete the “I used to think..., now I think...” statement by discussing each student's statement one by one with the rest of the class, respecting their contributions and pointing out connections between the different students’ statements.

Part 3:

The group selects one of the areas on which all the students will work together to find inclusive solutions in the fourth and final stage. Each student is allocated two votes and the majority rule is used to select the area on which to work.

We recommend that you and the group discuss the possibility of making a significant contribution to improve inclusion for people with disabilities in the areas that receive the most votes to resolve any ties and to ensure that everyone is happy with the choice.

Step four. Multiply.

In this final step, the students propose specific ideas for making their surroundings more inclusive. The task is divided into the following parts:

Part 1:

  1. Having selected the territory for the proposal, we will re-read the proposal chosen in phase II for this territory and the list of concepts we need to know.

  2. We explain to the students that we are going to try to improve the initial proposal from phase II, generating creative ideas based on all the information we have now gathered. We will do this using the SCAMPER technique.

    To give the students a first taste of this technique, you can do an example as a group with an everyday product. The students will suggest changes to this product following the letters of SCAMPER.

  3. Divide the class into four similarly sized groups. Each team is given one of these four concepts. In this case, there are four teams.

  4. Each team has to generate new ideas with the word assigned to them. They should be allocated sufficient time according to their capabilities. All their ideas should be considered, however nonsensical.

  5. Each team shares their ideas. Together, we will decide which ideas are most innovative and can be put into practice in our local area.

  6. Our ideas are used to give final shape to to our service product..

Part 2:

Designing our proposal in poster format. Following some instructions provided by the contest, the students transform their idea into a format that can be entered into the contest. It is recommended to propose a specific style where all students can contribute according to their own abilities.

Part 3:

Share your selected proposal with the school's educational community by means of the school blog, if there is one, a circular to families, or by sending an email with information about the project and the selected proposal to one or more associations of people with disabilities in the community, etc.