“The power of this program rests in its ability to shape attitudes that allow us to see the potential in others and not their limitations. Newton is fortunate that Understanding Our Differences is an integral part of the school system.” James Marini Former Superintendent of Schools, Newton, MA

Newton Schools

Understanding Our Differences (UOD) was founded in Newton in 1978 by a group of parents of children with disabilities who believed that the successful inclusion of students with disabilities in our schools required an understanding community.

Several generations of Newton students have participated in the UOD program at all 15 elementary schools in Newton.  Some of those children are now guest speakers at UOD sessions and others have gone on to careers in special education or related disability services. They credit UOD with sparking their career interests.

Altogether, more than 35,000 Newton students and 8,000 local volunteers have participated in the program, which is broadly supported by Newton school officials, elementary school classroom teachers, and parents.

More than 350 parents and others volunteer for UOD each year in the Newton schools. If you would like to learn about becoming a volunteer, please email [email protected] or call our office at 617-559-6075.


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