Abilities Awareness Week is undergoing significant changes

Abilities Awareness Week is an all inclusive week long event that educates students what it’s like to live with disabilities, but it is undergoing significant changes this year. The disability simulation activities, which had students perform activities such as racing in wheelchairs and painting without using their hands, have been discontinued. Karen Sylvester, a member of the CVUSD board of education, explains how this decision came to be. “Parents on our Special Education District Advisory Council [SEDAC] presented new studies showing that these types of activities are not beneficial to students with disabilities and may perpetuate stereotypes,” Sylvester said.

While disability simulation activities are no longer being continued, other events were still held over the course of the week. “SEDAC parents shared alternative ideas on how to promote ability awareness, including highlighting the accomplishments of people with disabilities.” Sylvester said. For example, motivational speakers, such as Nick Vuijicic and Nick Scott, spoke at CVUSD middle schools about their experiences and how they were able to persist despite the numerous challenges they faced from being disabled.
student about both physical and mental disabilities in the most effective way possible.