Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Early thoughts on disability

I don't turn on the telly that much but happened upon a great show on Channel 31 called No Limits (Monday 7.30pm). It's about disability related issues and products. It was great to see what disabled adults are thinking and getting up to and gives me more of an idea about futures that are possible for my students.

The world of disability is a strange one to be entering without one. A real outsider's perspective. The last few weeks with the contraption (which you will see I haven't managed to get up the picture of yet... or not see...) has given me a small glimpse of how difficult the construction of the physical world can be when faced with only a minor mobility issue. I am having trouble with steps where there is nothing to hang on to in order to steady myself. Imagine it in a wheelchair, with limited upper limb movement... If everything was built accessible it would make everyone's lives easier, even if only for a brief period in their lives.

It makes me wonder. How do I understand the world my students live in? I guess any kid has a radically different perspective on the world to a teacher who may be much older or have a different background, how do any of us understand their world? What will this mean to the interactions and relationship I develop with them?

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