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.
You can share the link securely, because the questionnaire does not ask for any personal details, and only the name of your school and the participating school year takes part.
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.
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:
First of all, we will allow some time to remind each other what we know about disability as a team. This will uncover memories of the people with disabilities who we have known, if any, people with disabilities we have heard of or talked about and even moments when we have had an accident or injury that has caused a temporary loss of mobility, vision, hearing or communication skills similar to the chronic issues experienced by people with disabilities.
First of all, we take a little time to remind each other what we know about disability as a team. This will uncover memories of the people with disabilities who we have known, if any, people with disabilities we have heard of or talked about and even moments when we have had an accident or injury that has caused a temporary loss of mobility, vision, hearing or communication skills similar to the chronic issues experienced by people with disabilities.
Each team is given some material, Appendix I, in the form of a page with some words and images that will help to stimulate our students' memories and experiences of disability.
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, although we are working as a team.
What about students who use systems other than writing to communicate?
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 choose the three words or images that they associate with disability.
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.
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 that these experiences generate. After the reflection, each student must go to their graphic organiser and write 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 are not accessible to everyone.
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...
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.
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:
Initially, each group is assigned a territory.
We will read these short stores, applied to the different territories, to help them to understand the problem we are addressing:
Pedro is extroverted and very cheerful. Pedro is blind. Pedro and his friends like the same kind of music, and they would like to go to a concert together. The friends ask the organisers to ensure that Pedro can enjoy the concert.
John doesn’t talk much. John uses images to express his wants and needs. John loves manga and he is a very good artist. His friends want to organise a trip to the manga exhibition. They think about how they can get John to understand what the trip is about and whether the Exhibition will be adapted.
Anne gets about in a wheelchair. Anne and her classmates have been thinking about going to a music festival for months. The friends make a mental journey through all the details for the trip to the festival to be sure that Anne will be able to enjoy it like everyone else in the group.
Mary is autistic. Mary cannot bear having to wait for more than a couple of minutes. When she has to wait any longer, she gets very upset and leaves. Mary’s classmates know that she loves the music of an artiste who is signing records in the town this afternoon and they want to take her.
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 prepared step-by-step recipes for him with pictures, because John doesn’t use many words and he basically communicates with images. John wants to work in a kitchen, which is why he would like to study a vocational training course.
Lucy absolutely loves design. She wants to do vocational training to be able to become a fashion designer. Lucy is deaf. She doesn't know whether the course she wants to do is adapted.
Pedro is blind. He loves sport, particularly swimming and football. He is going to start at a new school on Monday and wonders if the school will be adapted so that he can take part in his favourite sports like any other student as he could at his previous school.
Valerie is sensitive to noise. When the other students move their desks and chairs in the classroom, Valerie experiences pain rather than annoyance from the noise. She has to leave the classroom and find somewhere quiet where she can calm down. The same think happens with the bell that rings every day to tell students when the classes and break time start and finish.
Tom loves walking about in the city. Tom 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 until his parents take him there, because the doors to the buildings don’t have images on them that he can understand.
John is crazy about football. He never misses a match of his team. John uses a wheelchair to get about. John and his friends get together before the start of the season to anticipate any difficulties that John might encounter when he goes into his team’s stadium or visits those of other teams.
Maria’s end-of-year school trip is almost here. She can’t wait to go, but she wants to know if she is going to understand what is going on and whether she can take part. Maria is deaf and communicates with sign language.
Pedro is a computer nerd. He loves programming. Pedro is blind. An important company is considering giving Pedro a job. They want Pedro to be able 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 will be adapted to allow her to work, use the lavatories, etc.
Arrange the desks in the classroom to create four big work areas or stations comprising one or more desks without chairs. Provide plenty of Kraft paper in each of these work centres. Write the following in the centre of each piece of c:
“What are your ideas or thoughts on how to improve the inclusion of people with disabilities in our community when it comes to leisure?”
In this case, we asked the team focused on leisure to answer this question by thinking about their closest context: neighbourhood, village, school... We are looking for a connection with their daily lives.
Assign markers of the same colour to each group, so that we know what each group has written at each work station.
Allow each group 7-10 minutes to write down all the proposals, ideas, thoughts that they come up with in that 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 using the Padlet platform instead of Kraft paper. Padlet provides different formats of expression such as audios, drawing files, videos, links, etc. The idea would be to generate four Padlets, one per territory, so that the teams revolve around the Padlet.
After the stipulated 7-10 minutes, each group visits the other work stations moving in a clockwise direction. So, each group builds on the previous one’s work, underlining the ideas they feel are more important and adding ideas to the ones suggested initially by specialised teams.
The groups rotate every 7-10 minutes until each group has visited all four work stations.
Each group goes back to their original work station and together they read the contributions made by the other classmates. Now is the time to select the proposal they feel is the strongest.
Then all the class stands around one of the work stations and shares the selected proposal aloud. They then ask the 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 turned into a list of concepts that we need to know, which will be base for our work in the third phase.
This is a time for reflection, debate, connecting ideas and proposals, ensuring that the 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.
The teacher will have obtained additional information resources from each territory based on the proposals and needs underlined by the students in the previous step (Kraft or Padlet).
Then the new resources are shared with each specialist group, highlighting resources that seek to cover the needs for necessary information defined in the previous session. It is a good idea to give students access to published materials (newspapers, magazines, etc.) and digital with internet access, preselected by the teacher, for which they will search for additional resources and information.
Working with the “list of concepts we need to know”, each group will make a summary of the information found for each concept.
As additional information, completed projects can be added (the Grupo Social ONCE or other institutions) which will assist when it comes to connecting the information provided with the work to be carried out in phase 4
When the summary is complete, the entire group will share their findings and summarise the information they have found.
When they have processed the information, we go back to the 3 2 1 Bridge routine and set the second column of the bridge. To do this, we will use the following dynamic:
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 ensure that all the students can participate, we propose using a template like Appendix I , that contains additional words and images, so that the students can select the three words or images that they associate most with disability.
So they can now generate a group Padlet in which students can express their needs by means of audios, picture archives, videos, links, and so on, if they need to.
Using the same work dynamic, they now complete the two questions that came to mind when they think about disability.
Finally, we ask them to complete the metaphor or analogy that makes it possible to finish the statement “Having a disability is like …”.
Compare the words, questions, and analogies from the first session with the ones written now. Ask for some volunteers to share their “bridge” with the rest of the class and then everyone should talk about what they learned from this project.
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 one vote, and the area to work on will be the one that gets the majority of the votes.
We recommend 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.
In the case of Primary Education, the education and leisure areas are most likely to be chosen, followed by universal accessibility, because they are more aligned with their interests and concerns, and, therefore, these are the areas where they can make the most effective contributions.
In this final step, the students suggest specific ideas for making their surroundings more inclusive. This will be done in the following parts:
Having selected the territory for carrying out the chosen proposal, we will re-read the proposal chosen in phase II for this territory and the list of concepts we need to know.
We explain to the students that we are going to try and improve this initial proposal from phase II, generating creative ideas now that we have all the information needed to carry it out. 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. They should suggest the changes to this product following the letters of SCAMPER.
Divide the class into four similar groups. Each team is given one of these four concepts. In this case, there are four teams.
Each team has to generate new ideas following the word assigned to them. They are allocated enough time according to their capabilities. Consider all their ideas, however nonsensical.
Each team shares the ideas they have thought up. Together, with the we decide which ideas are most innovative and can be put into practice in our local area.
With the ideas that emerge, we give the final format to our service product.
Designing a poster for our proposal. Following the instructions provided by the contest, the students transform their idea into a format that can be submitted to the contest. It is recommended you propose a specific style where all students can contribute according to their own abilities.
Share your selected proposal throughout the school's educational community by means of the school blog, if there is one, a circular for families, an email with information about the project and the selected proposal to one or more associations of people with disabilities in the community, etc.