Physical Disabilities


The Physical Disabilities unit is designed for students to learn about the various causes of physical disabilities, the definitions of terms such as “disability” and “handicap,” and attitudinal and architectural barriers.  Students also get hands-on experience with adaptive equipment and assistive technologies.

Key themes:

  • Assistive technology is playing an increasingly important role in leveling the playing field for those with physical disabilities.
  • Some people with disabilities will need extra time to complete a task or will perform it in a different way.
  • Communication prevents isolation.
  • Universal design strives to create a world that fits everyone – whether you are elderly, a student using a wheelchair or crutches, or a mother pushing a stroller.
  • It is natural to feel uncertain about how to interact with someone who has a disability.
  • Friendship and inclusion bring people together so they can share their commonalities.

Program implementation is flexible and can be adapted for your classroom, but a typical 2-hour session includes:

Informational PowerPoint presentation Students learn that physical disabilities occur at birth or are caused by accidents or illness. Terminology is defined.
Video: “Kids Just Want to Have Fun” Students become acquainted with architectural and attitudinal barriers and discover the advantages of universal design.
Three small group activities Hands-on activities enable students to use adaptive equipment, communicate without voice using a communication board, and discover how universal design can eliminate many architectural barriers.
Guest Speaker A guest speaker shares the experience of living with a physical disability.