Experiencing Differences Day
The OT for Kids Experiencing Differences Day offers children the opportunity to learn and feel what it is like to experience a disability. It is a useful and insightful day for all involved. Both teachers and students will learn more about common conditions that face children and how they can be as inclusive as possible during school.
What is an Experiencing Differences day all about?
Our experiencing differences day is a 6 hour day completed at your school, usually in the hall or a large space. Each class will attend a 1 hour session, totalling 6 classes a day. All pupils and teachers will be given an overview of the common difficulties children face during school, and then participate in tailored activities designed to demonstrate how it feels for those children. There are 5 workstations. Children and teachers are split up equally across all 5 stations. Each station varies greatly, and involves the use of the hands, vision and co-ordination to navigate a series of challenges designed to test pupils (and teachers!) co-ordination skills.
Who will benefit from an Experiencing differences day?
Schools will benefit from the experiencing differences day through receiving:
- Expert advice on common conditions
- Inclusive training for up to 6 classes and teaching staff
- Range of activities highlighting a variety of difficulties
- Fun, friendly incorporating environment
- Excellent learning opportunities
- Onsite Occupational Therapist
Teachers will also benefit greatly from attending an Experiencing differences day. The introduction and conclusion to the session includes aspects that are designed to educate at both a child friendly, and adult friendly level. Activities form the main part of the session and are used as a 'try and see for yourself' approach. Through the combination of the two, teachers will gain first-hand insight into common difficulties some children face and an evidence based teaching approach to be used in day to day lessons.
What is involved during an Experiencing differences day?
The school day will be split into 6 hour sessions completed throughout the day. Each session will contain an introduction, 5 active engagement stations and a conclusion. Activities are designed for everyone involved to experience a variety of sensory and visual difficulties whilst completing everyday tasks. Activities are fun, easy to understand but challenging to complete.
The introduction will contain an overview of common difficulties within school, how these affect day to day function for each child and any examples from children within the class.
Following an introduction, children and teachers will be split into 5 groups to partake in the workstations.
Station 1 - Wheelchair obstacle course
Participants experience what it is like for wheelchair users to navigate the school corridors and the school environment. Participants will be seated in a self-propelled wheelchair and propel themselves around a short obstacle course. Once everyone has had a go, Participants will pair up, with one person pushing the wheelchair whilst the other is seated.
Aim: To improve understanding and empathy towards children who use a wheelchair
Station 2 - Wellington Football
Teachers and children are split into pairs. Whilst wearing wellington boots, they are to dribble, kicking the football across a short distance, around a cone and returning back to the start point.
Aim: To improve understanding of what it is like to experience co-ordination difficulties common with conditions such as Dyslexia and Cerebral palsy.
Station 3 - Threading with Gloves on whilst blindfolded
Participants are given thin winter gloves and are asked to thread as many beads and buttons onto string as possible whilst wearing gloves and blindfolded.
Aim: To improve understanding of sight difficulties and poor proprioception and fine motor skills
Station 4 - Dressing with gloves on
Children and teachers are given gardening gloves and buttoned shirts, trousers and socks. They are told to get dressed and undressed in these clothes as quickly as possible.
Aim: To improve understanding of how difficult dressing can be with children who have poor fine motor skills and proprioception skills.
Station 5 - Guess the Picture
Children and teachers will be shown a series of pictures that are partially visable, partially complete, rotated or distorted in some manner. Participants will then try to identify the picture and explain what is happening.
Aim: To raise awareness of visual perception and sight difficulties for children within school.
The day will be split into 50 minute to an hour sessions for each class within school. Pupils and teachers from each class will enter the hall and partake in the hour session. At the end of the hour, classes will swap, ensuring everyone uses the day.
The hour will be structured as follows:
10 minute Introduction
The introduction will consist of examples of common difficulties children experience in school and class and teacher perception. Discussions will be had regarding how it affects day to day function both at home and at school and how the activities today will demonstrate that.
30 - 40 minute activities
Children will rotate around each workstation every 6-8 minutes
10 minute Summary
The conclusion will summarise how the class has found the session, including any change in perception of children with difficulties, and a short questionnaire asking what the children and teachers enjoyed most out of the experience.
How to find out more about OT for Kids Experiencing Differences day
If you are interested in booking your school onto the experiencing differences day, or to find out more information, please contact the office via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0330 223 0888