disABILITY Awareness, our cornerstone program, impacted many new schools this fall by spreading the message of acceptance through respect, empathy, and kindness.

The disABILITY Awareness Team hit the ground running this 2016 fall season with 10 schools scheduled before the new year, 7 schools on the schedule for spring of 2017, and calls every day from new schools wanting to be put on the schedule.

Our first stop was Park Tudor Elementary, where our staff worked hard to create an exciting DA week that works well within the students’ busy schedules, and shows just how versatile our program can be to accommodate each and every school.

For the next three weeks, we ventured off to Monon Trails Elementary, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, and the home of our inaugural disABILITY Awarness program: St. Monica. Each week was jammed packed with speakers, hands-on activities, puppets and tons of crazy fun times with every student.

With only a week break, we got to work finalizing our next locations by emailing confirmations with speakers, reorganizing equipment and doing some much needed yoga.

Finally, it was off to St. Matthew, Holy Name, Maple Glen and a new school this year, Brown Elementary. We never know what to expect when we go into a new school, and Brown was one of the largest so far with more than 650 students served. With 6 clown performances, 6 visual impairment presentations, and lots of help from amazing volunteers and speakers, we were able to spread our message of awareness to many new faces.

The last two schools of the 2016 DA year were St. Thomas Aquinas, and one more new location for us, Cumberland Elementary, with another 650 children that participated in disABILITY Awareness.

We created many memories as well as made new friends at the end of each of those weeks and have already started the disABILITY Awareness winter season of 2017!

Post written by: Dustin Hergert, Assistant to Programs