Disability advocates want to spread awareness for equal opportunity

Maryland

WASHINGTON (WDVM) — National Disability Day is celebrated annually every December 3rd, the day is to spread awareness about mental and physical disabilities, and fight for equal opportunities.

National Disability Day strives to ensure people all over the world receive the same opportunity, and with the pandemic creating challenges for the academic system, it is important for educators to ensure all students have equal guidance regardless of a limitation. 

According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, 9.4 million children, are estimated to have special health care needs.

Disability awareness is important, especially because the pandemic has brought challenges to the education system, and some special needs parents have felt the ramifications of it the most.

Many special needs children require more attention and assistance with schooling, and some parents might be dealing with a lot of “firsts” this year.

However, disability advocates say no matter the limitations, all students deserve proper education, and they are encouraging families to reach out for support and guidance to ensure the pandemic does not hold their children back. 

“We’re all learning together and trying to do the best we can, some are doing better than others. It’s nothing to beat yourself up over, you just need to breathe, and tell yourself that you are human and you’re doing the best you can.”

Elaine Wiley, who is a mother of two special needs children

Special needs advocates recommend these tips for teaching students:

Use Flashcards: If you have a fidgety child or one that enjoys some kind of constant movement, flashcards can be a big win in many subjects. It can keep their focus and allow them to be entertained.

Adding a chalkboard: This can allow your special needs child to feel like they have some control, and it is a fun effective way to practice writing.

Audiobooks: It’s perfect for travel, and it allows your child to hear stories and use their imagination.

Creating a workspace: It’s important that your child has their own space to work, so they can feel productive.

Virtual calls: Utilize virtual video calls to help your child engage with other and practice speech.

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