second meeting

The second meeting of the Wheelchair Attendant Licensing Group was held yesterday.  Once again we enjoyed good attendance with 25 students making the ‘return visit’.

Many excellent ideas and interesting discussions took place about the zones and safety rules.  They were very sincere when posing their questions and ideas – this was a serious task they were undertaking.  There was even forward planning and goal setting for Mac to one day be able to be dropped of at the “kiss and drop” zone at school where he would be met by a student to assist him.  We have decided this might be possible once Mac learns to ‘blow his Mum (me) a kiss’ (I would accept a raspberry) on drop off – which only cements the resolve of the students to teach him to blow a raspberry.

The majority of sixth graders didn’t return as they have just worked out since they are only at school for another two weeks they might miss out on getting their license – some are a little ‘miffed’.

Our Regional office of DET have offered to supply the ‘all important lanyards’ for the students getting their licenses.

The next step is for me to pull together all the feedback and information the students submitted into a format they can use for learning and design the questionnaire for the students to complete.  Of course I will try to develop this using Universal Design for Learning concepts so as to not make a hypocrite of myself and ensure all students can access the information in a format best suited to their style of learning.

We are planning on running the ‘First Assessment Program’ next Thursday for the Stage 3 students.  Thursday is International Day of People with Disabilities and all students agreed this was an appropriate day to start this process.

When we talked about IDoPWD one of the girls cheered “yay, my brother” another, “yay, my mother” and one of the boys, “yay, Mac” – it made me realise it is important to allow others the opportunity to celebrate their friends and family members and the diversity they bring to their lives – it gives them a chance to be ‘loud and proud’ with the backing of an internationally recognised day.  Sure it would be nice to get to the place where we no longer need to have IDoPWD but for now I can see the benefit for these kids.

Oh, and the obstacle course… still at the concept stage, I guess it will be sorted by Thursday – but water has been confirmed as a compulsory element to the practical test… of course!

6 Comments

Filed under Access all Areas, Inclusion... straight up!

6 responses to “second meeting

  1. Well, that makes it more important to train the Grade 5s. It’s a shame that some of the 6s don’t go to wheelchair accessible high schools and be able to carry their skills there.

    The training is not a process you can rush. And it might be good to have ‘summer school’ lessons.

    Great that you guys are celebrating the International Day of People with Disabilities next Thursday.

    Water would be a compulsory element. What about other extreme weather events, like heat, dust and wind?

  2. Di

    Wow,
    What a mature group of peers that Mac has. Good luck with the training/licensing.
    I hope Mac enjoys his upcoming school holidays Gina, and doesn’t drive you and Shawn up the wall too much from missing his mates and teachers.

    Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.
    Love Di xox

  3. Kim (Harrys Mum)

    Go kids!
    So DET is supplying the lanyards, that is great. I have been told that they would be an OH and S issue at our school when trying to get something in place so that ALL the teachers know about number 1 sons eczema care plan says and understand him when he gets upset when they won’t let him go where he should. But that could be because our school has some serious behaviour problems and the lanyard would most likely be used to strangle someone.
    I hope Mac’s rasberry skills develop well.
    Kim

  4. (So do I, Kim! Raspberries are such a great skill, they saved Jacqueline du Pre in her last years of MS: as always her most understandable comment was a voiceferous raspberry: Easton [1989], Jacqueline du Pre, the biography).

    Yes, we do have to consider the contingencies. Especially where ‘serious behavioural problems’ are concerned. They can be very inventive: I would never have thought a lanyard could be a strangling tool.

  5. Gina

    I might keep the lanyard OH&S issue as a future issue for the kids to consider as an ongoing risk assessment strategy – if DET are happy to supply then I am happy for them to do so at this stage.

    We did think about those retractable ones that clip onto your shorts pocket as our preferred option – that might be a little down the track though – but would solve the immediate issue.

    You are right Di, very mature kids.

    We didn’t go with photos on the licence as a safety measure – we discussed if their name and photo was on there it might be too easy if they lost it to get in the hands of a ‘predator’ – all the children agreed that could be “very dangerous”.

  6. What about an avatar the kids can use?

    They are very cool!

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