Cool at School: Program Shows Challenges of Disabilities - 8 News NOW

Cool at School: Program Shows Challenges of Disabilities

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LAS VEGAS - In the traditional way of learning, students use books, video and lectures. Learning what it's like to be disabled, however, requires a different approach. A Las Vegas program puts students in near-real-life situations to help them understand the challenges disabled people face every day.

"We want students to be able to approach and form friendships with students who are differently abled," said Elizabeth Crosby, a specialist for the physically challenged.

Various stations at Roger Bryan Elementary show students what it's like to live in a wheelchair, be devoid of hearing or lack the ability to see.

"They're blindfolded and use a cane to move around the hallway," Crosby said.

Students are also asked to collect items while wearing special glasses that black out light. Students form a parade of wheelchairs down the halls as they grasp the concept of living without the use of their legs. They also learn the basics of sign language – mastering simple phrases such as "Happy Birthday."

"Some people don't know how to do it, so it's cool to teach them," said third grader Amanda Lindow.

Fellow third grader Isabella Williams says these experiences hit home.

"I learned a lot of people who have disabilities… it is hard for them, so they have to work through it and try not to let their problems get the best of them," she said.

That's the lesson teachers hope other students also learn. "We're hoping they learn about the disabilities, and we're hoping they learn to value students and people in general," Crosby said.

If you wish to nominate a program for What's Cool at School, visit our website or e-mail us.

You can also vote for your favorite What's Cool at School program. Each month, the program with the most votes receives $250.

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