People Together Program
Too often people who have disabilities are perceived as different and are bullied, pitied or ignored because of a lack of understanding. The Arc of Ohio – Summit and Portage Counties is offering an awareness program called The People Together Program© that helps to break down those barriers in an effort to foster understanding, acceptance, friendship and inclusion between people with and people without disabilities. This program is primarily an in-school program but can also be implemented in other groups such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs and YMCA groups and is designed to educate and sensitize participants towards their peers who happen to have disabilities. The People Together Program© is a five day program and the curriculum for grades 3-5 is available for purchase. The program covers different disabilities including intellectual disabilities, autism, cerebral palsy, paralysis, speech and sensory disabilities such as blindness and deafness and uses a multi-media approach involving class or group discussions, simulation activities, DVD’s and guest speakers who have disabilities. Throughout the program, participants are encouraged to realize that everyone needs and wants friends, to look past the “dis” to see the abilities in all people and to accept that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.