Year 9 Advance Program
Over the course of two weeks, the Advance class attended sessions brought to us by Jake who is a presenter from SCOPE. SCOPE is Australia’s largest and most trusted disability service provider, which supports thousands of people with different disabilities including intellectual and physical. We have attended two sessions so far and our third one will take place on 23 November, which we are so excited about, especially since another presenter from SCOPE will be joining us! All three sessions allow our class to work towards meeting the Advance learning modules.
Our first session, named ‘Understanding Disability & Diversity’ was essentially an introduction to learning about the wonderful world of disability, where we completed a number of activities that accessed our prior knowledge and developed ideas and questions we wanted to explore. We were educated about the social model of disability, through watching a variety of videos that delved into the first-person experiences of individuals with a disability. Furthermore, we brainstormed ideas about how to improve a variety of environments, to make it more accessible for those with disabilities. Some ideas included rearranging the organisation of products in a grocery store, for easier accessibility.
In our second session titled ‘Communicating Successfully With Others’, we learnt Auslan, which is a shortened term for ‘Australian sign language’. We watched multiple videos about individuals using sign language as daily communication. Our class learnt how to spell our names and a range of other simple sentences and words, using sign language. In addition to this, we participated in a quick activity that gave insight into how people rely on using Auslan, which included making our own communication board. A communication board is used by a number of individuals, in order to easily communicate, as they may struggle with speech difficulties. The board consists of a variety of symbols, images, and simple everyday language like ‘yes’ and ‘no’. In terms of how to use the board to accurately communicate one’s intention, the user can point towards, gesture or blink for the different images or words, essentially explaining what they want to convey.
Our last SCOPE session in two weeks time is titled, ‘See The Person’. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for us next, and what more we can learn about the wonderful world of disability.
Written by – Haily Le 9C.
Jennifer Papagianopoulos – Advance Program Coordinator