Disability Awareness Day celebrated in Sunnyvale

Many organizations come together every year to celebrate Disability Awareness Day to empower children, families, and educators.  On October 16, the Sunnyvale School District celebrated its 1st Annual Disability Awareness Day held on the Vargas Elementary School campus. This was a great opportunity to promote awareness and appreciation of people with differing abilities not only in our school community but the community as a whole.

Twenty vendors participated in the event. The District’s focus was to provide resources to support families with children who have disabilities as well as provide knowledge to all attending regarding the various disabilities. More than 100 people attended the event and were able to enjoy refreshments and participate in several different game/activity stations including face painting, an obstacle course, ping-pong toss, and a bounce house.

Some of the activities included vision impairment hands-on experiences with a manual brailler, a 6 key entry device for writing provided by Vista Center.  This station also provided information on laws related to persons who are blind and visually impaired.  Opportunities to simulate visual impairment were also available. The community was able to experience what it is like to be in a wheelchair, walk with a cane while blindfolded, and walking with a walker due to physical limitations.

Parents and kids appreciated the opportunity to use equipment provided by Care for Children Services (CCS) and expand their knowledge.  There was also a sensory activity station that was prepared for attendees to experience writing as person with dyslexia. Participants had the opportunity to experience how dyslexia impacts eye-hand coordination by writing inside a box with no light or vision available.

Events like this are important to the District because of our need to educate around differences and respect those with differing abilities. Parents who attended this event provided the District with great feedback and have expressed that we continue with this event annually. In addition, we also received feedback from parents who were not able to attend; however, they were pleased to hear that Sunnyvale School District is providing resources and is implementing this community event in the area.

Our exhibitors were also very pleased they were able to partner with the school community and give resource information to families in the community.  What was more reinforcing is that many people expressed great interest to participate in our future events.

Please save the date for the Sunnyvale School District’s 2nd Annual Disability Awareness Day, Thursday, October 15th, 2015! The event will be held from 1:30-4 p.m. at Cherry Chase Elementary School, 1137 Heatherstone Way. There will be a Resource Fair, activities, games and refreshments. For more information contact Di Ray at dipanwita.ray@sesd.org or 408-522-8200 ext. 1029.

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