Helping the younger generations to understand the hurdles that people living with disabilities face on a daily basis is the motivation behind TOAD.
Try on a Disability is an initiative by Langley Pos-Abilities Society, and while the program has been offered in past at local community events, Friday will be the first time the program is being taken into a local school, announced founder Zosia Ettenberg.
James Hill Elementary is hosting TOAD, and students at the Murrayville school will have a chance to literally try on a disability, or two.
“We are really excited about taking the TOAD program to the schools in Langley,” Ettenberg said.
The new school program includes a short talk called “person first, disability last,” Ettenberg said.
That’s followed by a chance for the kids to try on disabilities, including various forms of sight impairment, arthritis, and stroke.
They’ll even be given a chance to manoeuvre through a wheelchair obstacle course, she elaborated.
“James Hill Elementary is the first school who has invited us and we hope that it will be the first of many,” Ettenberg said.
“We believe that if you can understand the challenges that people face living with a disability, you can accept and include them in your circle of friends. If you start when you are young it will gradually change our community.”
Pos-Abilitites is a non-profit organization started in town eight years ago to help Langley residents change disabilities into possibilties, she explained. It’s intentions are to help local people living with disabilities by providing quality assistive devices for those who could not otherwise afford them, serve as a liaison with other organizations and programs that can help people further their independence, and – the biggest objective for Ettenberg – focus on public education.
“We are so excited because we are hoping to be visiting all the schools in Langley with this program, as well as businesses, to work with their staff,” she said.
To book a TOAD event or find out more about the local organization, people can go online to www.pos-abilities.org.