Laguna Niguel promotes diverse abilities with Ability Awareness Day

A school community is made up of students with diverse backgrounds, interests and abilities. Laguna Niguel held an Ability Awareness Day on March 26 to help students understand the different abilities some of their peers experience and promote understanding, compassion and kindness. Each grade level participated in activities that modeled the experiences that some students have in school. The event featured the slogan- All kids of bodies, all kinds of minds!

The Laguna Niguel PTA created and staffed the four activity areas, with students rotating through each during a 40-minute session. The activities included-

  • Sensory Awareness- Students reached into a shoebox filled with items, and had to identify as many as possible only through touch. This lesson help the students understand how visually impaired students have to adapt when learning.
  • Allergen Exchange- Standing around a table, the first student had hand sanitizer, died blue and filled with glitter, put into their palm. The student then shook the hand of the next student, and so on down the line. At the end, students examined how much of the sanitizer was exchanged through touch. The students learned the importance of keeping their hands clean to avoid keep students with allergies safe and how an EpiPen is administered if a student has an allergic reaction.
  • Get a Grip- Students were tasked with writing their names and drawing two pictures, but the challenge came with a wide straw placed around their pencils, changing their ability to grip as they normally would.
  • Follow My Lead- Students were grouped in pairs, with one reading a simple instruction to the other of something to retrieve from a table. The instructing students had big marshmallows in their mouths, making their speech less clear. This lesson taught students the challenges that hearing impaired students face on a daily basis.

The activities were fun, and enlightening, as the students gained a new appreciation for how we all learn and interact in school.



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