When it comes to having a disability isn’t it good to know a NRL football team has your back?!
The West Tigers’ ‘Varying Abilities Program’ is an initiative aimed at providing support and assistance to students with a disability.
Holy Family Primary, Luddenham were lucky to have Marco Quintao from the West Tigers Physical Disability Rugby League team and West Tigers Community and Fan Engagement manager Shaun Spence come and visit.
“The program has been designed to reduce the prevalence of bullying towards students with a disability while encouraging students to recognise and celebrate differences in each other,’’ Mr Spence said.
The program allows all students to learn about the talent and potential of individuals living with a disability, while also opening their minds to accepting them as positive role models.
Students were made aware that sometimes people with a disability may communicate using a variety of modes.
Students learnt about different ways to communicate including through sign language, body language, visual cards and text.
“Having a physical disability may also affect the way some people do things; however, it does not necessarily mean they can’t achieve the same outcome,’’ Mr Spence said.
Students Matthew and Claudia were invited to experience what it would be like not to see and then maneuver their way through a small obstacle course.
Matthew was blindfolded, while Claudia had to guide him through the obstacle course without falling over or hitting a traffic cone.
Students were also challenged to try and tie their shoelaces with one hand held behind their backs.
“We take for granted that it takes us a few seconds to tie our shoelaces; however, it is a struggle some people have everyday,’’ Mr Spence said.
“It is important to make sure everyone is included. Some simple steps everybody can take is to invite everyone participate, asking ‘Do you need help?’, recognising differences and being accepting of varied abilities.
Mr Spence said we all have ability, it is just varied. We all can do the same thing just a little differently. In fact, celebrating difference and working as a team is what makes our communities great!