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Similarity Awareness

Similarity Awareness allows students of all ages to see that people with disabilities are an important part of our society and should be embraced and understood. The goal of the program is to give students, teachers and administrators the tools to discuss and explore the similarities we all share, regardless of ability.

Through this program, Northeast Passage brings wheelchairs and accessories to your school (or organization) to facilitate and play a variety of indoor wheelchair sports/games. This experience teaches non-disabled students that although using a wheelchair while playing a sport takes skill and practice, it’s also challenging, athletic and fun. Each presentation can be tailored to meet your school’s needs for time and content. This program requires the use of an indoor basketball court (although we have used cafeterias and multi-purpose rooms!).

A sample presentation will include:

Grades K-1:
A broad discussion about disability in general and people/celebrities the students may know who have a disability. Students will have the chance to ask questions and participate in the discussion. Wheelchair games can include: Line Tag, Pac-Man Tag, High Five Freeze Tag, Sharks and Minnows.

Grades 2-3:
We conduct a more in-depth discussion about disability and disabilities that require the use of a wheelchair. We include an explanation of recreation opportunities available for individuals with disabilities and the similarities between people with and without disabilities participating in recreation. Wheelchair games can include: Taco Tag, Capture the Flag and Dodgeball.

Grades 4-6:
We include a discussion about the Paralympics and stories about athletes and their sports. We add an explanation of both wheelchair sports and sports for people with visual impairments. Wheelchair games can include: Hand ball, Dodgeball and Capture the Flag.

Grades 7-12:
We include a discussion about the Paralympics and stories about athletes and their sports. We add an explanation of both wheelchair sports and sports for people with visual impairments. We play at a higher intensity, go in-depth into specifics for each game and inform students they are an extension of the chair and unable to use their legs in any capacity. Wheelchair games can include: Hand ball, Wheelchair Basketball and Ultimate Frisbee.

Additional Information:

Rates: $65/hour for program staff (presenter) and equipment + round trip mileage to your facility from our office in Durham, N.H (billed at current federal rate).

We have seen the following ideas implemented to offset funding for this program:

  • School Budget (sometimes split across budget lines like Special Education & Physical Education)
  • PTO/PTA
  • $5 contribution from students
  • Student-run fundraiser
  • Private donation (from parent or other supporter)
  • Grant Funding

We can accommodate roughly 30 students per hour/class period for active participation or an entire grade in an assembly format. The program is best scheduled and most cost effective in back-to-back blocks. Options are available for a single day or week long program.

For more information or to reserve a presentation contact: Reilly Murphy at 603-862-0070 or by e-mail at Reilly.Murphy@unh.edu.

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