A PROJECT teaching youngsters about living with a disability could be rolled out across the city.
The pilot Disability Awareness Project, which is being run by the SAFC Foundation of Light, has been held at Southwick Community Primary School and proved very successful.
By using sport, the scheme aims to give pupils a greater understanding about what everyday living with a disability is like, including when it comes to taking part in exercise.
Kevin Darke, from the Foundation of Light, who is running the project, said: “The Disability Awareness Pilot aims to create a more inclusive school environment, giving the pupils a greater understanding of those around them.
“It has been a big success. It has given the children an insight into what it is like to have a disability and also given the children skills to communicate with others and how to include them.
“We have shown them how we can adapt things for someone with a disability and the children were even coming up with their own suggestions.”
Kevin said the project consists of classroom teaching, talking to the children about disability awareness, but also practical teaching, using items such as ear plugs and vision-reduction glasses, so the pupils can experience for themselves what it is like to have a disability and join in sport activities.
He said during the course they look at a wide range of disabilities, including mental health issues and mobility problems.
Pauline Walmsley, community manager at Southwick Community Primary School, said the project has been very positive for everyone.
She said: “The Disability Awareness Pilot has been fantastic in developing the pupils’ understanding of the ways that a disability can affect someone, and teaches them ways to include those with disabilities in physical play and sport.
“The upcoming Paralympics has given us an opportunity to deliver this programme within the school, but the sessions will have a lasting impact with those who have taken part.”
Kevin said the foundation now hopes to extend the project to any school in the area, including those for children with special educational needs, who are interesting in taking part.