Special Needs Sensitizing at PHDS


Students learn to appreciate what being disabled means

/Mrs. Miriam E. WeinerOn Tuesday, Oct. 22, middle school and high school students at the Providence Hebrew Day School were treated to a special workshop run by Mrs. Batya Jacob, the educational director of the International Jewish Resource Center for Inclusion and Special Education, a division of Yachad/The National Jewish Council for the Disabled.  The workshop, titled “Sensitizing your Students to the Learning Challenges of their Peers” was truly amazing!

Stations were set up that allowed the students to perform hands-on activities demonstrating specific learning issues.  For example, they experienced fine motor challenges by manipulating items while wearing gloves, performed reading and writing challenges, were exposed to distracting stimuli in their environment while trying to perform a task and more.  Students were then guided in discussion with questions on what they experienced, what they learned and how this could mirror the experiences of their peers.

The goal of the workshop was to enable the students to return to class with a new understanding and with more sensitivity and patience for their peers and members of the community at large.  The school encouraged parents to talk to their children about the program and to discuss ways in which they can be more inclusive.

The teachers who were able to experience parts of this program were so enamored of it that the school is working with the Jewish Alliance to bring Mrs. Jacob back to present an in-service for teachers in both Jewish day schools and an evening program for parents.

For more information: Mrs. Miriam Esther Weiner (MEWeiner@Phdschool.org), Principal of the Provi-dence Hebrew Day School, can also be reached at 331-5327, ext. 18.