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Bring UOD to Your School

If you are interested in bringing the Understanding Our Differences program to your school or district, please contact us for further information. We are happy to work with and advise parents, Special Education Parent Advisory Councils, teachers, principals and administrators, and Commissions on Disability about how to successfully introduce and run the program. 

FAQs about Bringing UOD to Your School

Program implementation is flexible and can be adapted for a remote, hybrid or in-person classroom experience. A typical 1 ½ to 2-hour session for students includes: an informational video, one to three hands-on activities and a talk by a speaker with the disability, who describes their life experiences and answers students’ questions.

The program has been developed for students in grades 3-5, but can easily be adapted for younger or older students.

We have always encouraged volunteer participation in program delivery and consider it a great strength of UOD. This is an excellent opportunity to share time in the classroom with your own child, to get to know other parents and students, to give back to your community and to encourage friendship and empathy for people with disabilities in our community.

Please contact us for specific information. We will provide you with a proposal tailored to your school or district.

There are fees to access the copyrighted, comprehensive curriculum for each unit, including the user-friendly, step-by-step curriculum guides and introductory materials, with access to our materials provided online. We also recommend allocating funds for advanced training by UOD in program delivery. 

There are small additional costs to consider when creating your budget including:

  • creating kits of materials for hands-on activities. We provide kit equipment lists so that you may assemble curriculum kits for your school or district. The cost of creating a kit varies according to the unit, but generally is less than $50.
  • providing an honorarium for each guest speaker with a disability, and potentially covering their transportation costs.

Many school districts have successfully raised the necessary funds through donations from a PTO, school budget allocations, grant funding, contributions from individuals, or other sources, including Commissions on Disability. Our experience proves that if you would like to see our curriculum in your school, you can make it happen!

The curriculum is developed and updated by educators, people with disabilities, parents of children with disabilities, medical professionals and other experts in the field. We review each curriculum unit regularly and update it, as needed, based on new research and evaluations.  

Presently the program is offered in Arlington, Hopkinton, Lexington, Manchester Essex Regional School District, Melrose, North Andover, North Reading, and Sherborn.

While the program began in Massachusetts, our curriculum is available to any community or organization in the United States, and beyond.

Understanding Our Differences is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization funded by individual donors, community partners, grants from foundations, and fundraising events.

boy reading to boy with Downs Syndrome

If you want to foster an inclusive environment, just like with race, you have to talk about it and convey a message that fosters understanding. You have to make the values of inclusion explicit. I live in a district where my kids don’t have UOD. I wish they did.

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