Disability Awareness Day for Students in Williamsport

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Students in one part of Lycoming County are learning what it would be like to live with a learning disability. It’s an event that teachers hope will raise awareness and break down boundaries between students in their school.

Second grader Lincoln Paulhamus doesn’t normally draw pictures blindfolded but for this occasion he is.

“It was pretty tough.”

Paulhamus and dozens of his classmates at Jackson Primary in Williamsport are learning what it would be like to do everyday tasks with a learning disability. It’s all part of the school’s Disability Awareness Day.

Students in kindergarten through third grade went from station to station to help them better understand the challenges some of their classmates face every day.

“Each station is a different learning disability. There’s intellectual disability, autism, hearing impaired, communication,” explained autistic support teacher Annie Turner, who helped coordinate the event.

“The students were really great about it. They were asking a lot of questions like, ‘what does it mean to have autism?’ And ‘why do they communicate with these things?’ And ‘if we put these socks on our hands and we can’t tie our shoes, how would someone who didn’t have a hand be able to tie their shoes?'” said Turner.

Students of all abilities were at the event. It’s a way for the school to help students break down boundaries while having fun.

8-year-old Lydia Haldeman’s younger brother Johnny needs extra support during class. She hopes this event will help other students better understand her brother

“Sometimes it might be hard because he might not understand what I’m telling him to do,” Lydia said.

“I always thought of them different but now that I have been learning, I understand they are just like us,” Lincoln added.

Jackson Primary hopes to make Disability Awareness Day an annual event here in Williamsport.

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