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WeCanAccess Youth – India

calendarOctober 27 2021

The WeCanAccess Youth activity aims to improve accessibility and inclusion in schools by helping students to have a better understanding of the challenges that their peers with special needs and disabilities may face. It asks pupils to come up with ideas on how they might support and include their friends at the same time as asking pupils with disabilities to explain what actions would help them. We are delighted to share with you some fantastic work completed as part of the project, completed by students of the Study Hall School, which is part of the Study Hall Education Foundation (SHEF) in Uttar Pradesh, India.

The work below was completed by Study Hall students in classes 1 to 4 of Study Hall School (ages 5-9 years old). We will be sharing more of the children’s work in a series of posts, so do check back here www.wecanaccess.com/blogs for more!

Junior School

Teachers in the SHEF Junior School did a variety of activities to help foster understanding amongst the children of the different special needs and how they could develop an inclusive and supportive environment.

Class 1 (ages 5-6)

CLOSE YOUR EARS – One of the activities they undertook was to raise awareness of hearing impairment.

Class 1 pupils were asked to ‘close their ears’ and then the teachers asked them some questions. Children were not able to answer as they were not able to hear the questions. The children were then asked “how did you feel when you were not able to hear?”. Answers included: “not good”, “bad”, “very uncomfortable”.

Children were also showed the Oscar winning movie- The Silent Child.

Learning sign language – On 23rd September, International Sign Language Day, they held a special assembly.

Children are learning sign language and have practice every day!

Character wears a hearing aid and is signing the letter N in BSL

Class 2 (ages 6-7)

Classes 2 and 3 were asked to answer the question, “How can I assist friends with special needs?”

Below are some of their responses:

“I will make my friend laugh by telling funny stories.”

“I will help my friend to exercise and teach yoga that will help him / her to be more fit.”

“I will be his/ hers true friend and comfort him/ her.”

“I will make sure that no one hurts my friend’s feelings.”

“I will guide my friend to eat healthy food and stay fit.”

“I will try to help in whatever way I can.”

“I will go with my friend when he/ she visits a doctor.”

“I will try to understand what my friend wants and help him/ her.”

“I will try to get his/ her favourite food to make him/ her happy.”

“I will design a special wheelchair for the children who are not able to walk properly.”

“I will read out story books to the children who are not able to see.”

Smiling person sitting in a wheelchair waving

Class 3 (ages 7-8)

Image shows a sheet of paper with the following words: Dear Aunty, The ones those who cannot see or listen we can help them by being their friend. And we can also play and we should also not tease them. We can help them by making a special sign language so that they can understand properly. But we also have to make them independent so they can do the things on their own and if they are trying to do something but taking a long time we should not get irritated and help them so that they can also feel confident. Like in Study Hall they are teaching them and giving them time and make them feel like a normal child. S.H.E.F is doing a lots of effort for these kind of children and I am proud to be a part of this school. Regards, S
A page showing the words: DOSTI is Study Hall Educational Foundation’s school for special needs children. It is present in the junior section of Study Hall school, where our classes are also held. We can assist our friends of DOSTI by:  • Respecting them and treating them as equal  • Showing courtesy like smiling, saying hello, giving way, offering place to sit etc.  • Offering our help, if we see them struggling  • Not insisting on helping them  • Not staring at them  • Involving them in our activities  • Appreciating their works and efforts  • Explaining them patiently if they find something difficult to understand  • Offering encouraging and supportive words By Z
I am here to tell you about some people who have physical, visual, and hearing problems.  i. Hearing problems. My grandfather is deaf, I wonder how he feels Well, I would help him by- • Holding his hands and helping him with surrounding noise when walking • I use hand signs and speak slowly looking towards him so that he can read my lips and expressions to understand what I am saying.  ii. Physical problems. If someone has physical problems then I would help her/him by- • helping them with walking • helping them with eating • giving them a wheelchair • helping them with walking down the stairs • Giving them priority when in a queue • Give them my seat in the bus.  iii. Visual problems. I have a feeling that some people with Visual problems must be feeling awful inside even though they have a beautiful smile on their face. I should help them by - • never hurting their feelings • always supporting them • helping them in doing their work. Thank you, by A
A blind person is smiling widely and walking with a white stick to guide them.
A piece of paper which says: How can I assist friends with special needs?  1. A positive attitude and smiling face can make everyone feel more comfortable.  2. Be friendly.  3. Be encouraging.  4. Use praise whenever possible.  5. People rise to the occasion when the best is expected from them.  6. Always show respect to them  7. Use positive statement.     By D
a paper which reads: How can I assist friends with special needs?  1. A positive attitude and smiling face can make everyone feel more comfortable.  2. Be friendly.  3. Be encouraging.  4. Use praise whenever possible.  5. People rise to the occasion when the best is expected from them.  6. Always show respect to them  7. Use positive statement.     By D

Class 4 (ages 8-9)

A special class was conducted, where the teacher explained to the children what difficulties are faced by special children in their day-to-day activities. She also enacted them and encouraged the children to talk about the feelings and problems are faced by these special children. Later, children were asked to write answers to the below questions as a group activity and their point of view was shared with the whole class. The topic of sign language was also picked to help highlight how individuals can initiate first contact and communication with friends with special needs.

Q1) How children can help to make life easier and more comfortable for their friends with special needs in school?

A1) First of all I will offer a friendly smile and I will be extra polite to him and offer to help
them and treat them normally will try to have gestures and non-verbal communication such as
pointing and nodding. Use pictures to talk with them and realize and respect their differences
and limitations. By R


A2) When in familiar places, visually impaired people generally know the layout and memorize where
things are. Learning to travel in different or unfamiliar places is done by using orientation and
mobility skills. The white cane helps people who are blind know when there are tripping hazards such as cracks,
poles etc. We as children should always try to help them to read their lessons for them or supervise
them through the lift to their class.

character has their hand over their mouth to indicate they are nonverbal

Mute: A mute is a person who does not speak, either from an inability to speak or an unwillingness
to speak. The term “mute” is specifically applied to a person who, due to profound congenital (or
early) deafness, is unable to use articulate language and so is deaf-mute.
We can help them by becoming their voiceover in studies and other extracurricular activities. By H

Q2) How to help the people with special need?
A) There are so many people in the world, who are deaf, blind or dumb.
As a blessed human it’s our duty to help such people and we can do the same in various
ways, like:

  1. By learning the action language we can help the people who can’t speak and listen.
  2. By guiding the passage or direction, the people who can’t see.
  3. We can guide them to use lifts instead of staircases.
  4. Helping them understand a topic of study, if they are unable to understand in class.
    Regards T

Q3) How to help the people with special need

  1. I will always motivate them and will not point out their disabilities.
  2. Involve them in all the activities and make them learn things so they could also enjoy them.
  3. Sometimes coordinate with a person who can really help if the need arises.
  4. Explaining them each and everything in simple language so they can develop fast.
    By S

Q4) What would do you, and how would you like to be treated if you face any such problem like this.

  1. If I would have such a problem, I would like my friends to be polite to me.
  2. Make me understand everything so I could easily do the work without any hesitation.
  3. Give me some time to adapt it and do the tasks.
  4. To be playful with me so that I could also enjoy
    By J
A character in a wheelchair with cerebral palsy is laughing and chatting with a friend standing next to them.

ABOUT SHEF

Study Hall Educational Foundation (SHEF), an inclusive non-profit organization, runs a network of six unique schools and four outreach programs, educating diverse populations of children and young adults; every school caters to a different segment of society. Over the last three decades, SHEF have trained over 100,000 teachers and impacted over 5 million children (predominantly girls from disadvantaged communities) through SHEF’s various schools and programs.

You can find out more about SHEF here: studyhallfoundation.org/index.php

WeCanAccess Youth

WeCanAccess Youth aims to improve accessibility and inclusion in schools by helping students to have a better understanding of the challenges that their differently abled peers may face. It asks pupils to come up with ideas on how they might support and include their friends at the same time as asking pupils with disabilities to explain what actions would help them. You can find out more about the activity here: www.wecanaccess.com/wecanaccess-youth

If you or your school would like to submit work for the WeCanAccess Youth Project, or if you have any questions about the activities, please contact admin@wecanaccess.com.

Want to learn more about improving accessibility and inclusion in the classroom? Visit the WeCanAccess Academy for practical and effective toolkits here: WeCanAccess Academy

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