SOULTales - Character Strengths, Stories & Vocabulary

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Disability awareness through stories

A little experiment and I am glad I did it.
I was asked to show sign language at my daughter's school, which got extended to a small 40 minute programme on Disability and how children can help. I knew this was a group of 3rd, 4th and 5th std children and the best way would be ... through a story( I truly believe in the power of a story!!).
I Googled and as expected, got a wonderful story. Just the brief outline. But that was enough for me. I added relevant details and drama, and there was a tale for me to tell about a disabled Giraffe who is ridiculed and made the odd one out as he could not dance with his knobbly legs. He is then helped by his tiny friend, the Cricket, to come out with his own unique way to do a new dance, by choosing another song, a slow one. So the Giraffe creates the Swaying Dance!
The children really appreciated it, and what I could not have conveyed but just stating facts, I could convey through the story.
It is about using the abilities we have, instead of focusing on the disabilities that hamper us. So easy to tell, but difficult to execute. We have society to blame, but only partially. Half the responsibility falls on us too. If we do not always feel guilty about going away from the mainstream. Then we can also teach our children to make choices, that will make them and us happy.