‘Making Friends’ at Parish Elementary School

<p>Public Education Specialists Joanne Kelly and Rick Busler with the Central New York Developmental Disabilities Services Office and a few of their special puppet friends talked to students at the school about disabilities including blindness, cerebral palsy, learning differences, and hearing impairments and then role-played scenarios to illustrate ways that students with disabilities are similar to students without disabilities. At the third and fourth grade levels the program was called “Kids Project” and focused on how to be a friend to someone who is disabled. The kindergarten students participated in a similar but smaller group presentation called “Making Friends.” Pictured during this presentation above is Kelly with puppet Julie who is uses a wheelchair. Julie talked to the kindergarteners about her wheelchair, about school and about all of the activities that she likes to do including riding a bicycle. She even brought a picture of her bicycle and explained how she uses hand pedals instead of foot pedals to propel her bike. The students asked Julie questions about her disability and they talked about some of the things that they have in common with one another and some of the great things that make each person unique. </p>