Creating Positive Social Change

Pulling it all together…

One school embarked on an internal disability inclusion  assessment process and identified a need and successfully advocated for ADA compliant braille signage  in their high school. The students spoke with various  stakeholders, including school administrators, and visited  the Capital to meet with state representatives about their  project. The students now plan to engage in a public awareness campaign and to advocate for ADA compliant  braille signage in all district school buildings. At the time  of the assessment and implementation, there were no  students in the district identified as blind or having low vision, but they acknowledged their building is a voting  site, used by the public for events, and they want to create a welcoming school for future students, their families, faculty and staff who are blind and/or have low vision.  The students recognized one of many barriers to full inclusion is recognizing who isn’t present and exploring some of the reasons why.

Our experience with the YELL program has been nothing short of outstanding. I went into this year excited to see how much the students would take away and learn from this program. I hadn’t thought about how much I and other teachers/staff would take away for themselves. This opportunity has encouraged me to think in a whole new way about our culture, society, and school. I have loved learning how to approach situations and helping the students go into things as equals rather than one person supporting another. Watching the students learn about disability history and disability pride has been a highlight for me. I have always stressed the need for advocacy for all people, but the YELL group provided them with examples and tools for self-advocacy in a way I could not have.

-Amber Dale, Resource Teacher, Haslett High School
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