January 16, 2020
Our fourth grade students shared in the most amazing learning experience this week with a visit from a wonderful organization called A Touch of Understanding (ATOU).
ATOU is an award-winning non-profit character-building disability-awareness organization. They are a dedicated group of individuals, many of whom have disabilities themselves. They came to Bacich to share their stories and their physical challenges, with our fourth graders.
Our students met Dwight, Karen and Jill, and they heard first-hand how their worlds changed dramatically after they experienced misfortune in their lives. One guest was paralyzed from the waist down after an unsuccessful surgery. Another guest developed blindness as a child when hit in the eye with an object. Our third guest was a bilateral amputee and burn survivor after a racecar driving accident. Yet, through it all, these individuals continue to set high goals for themselves and have achieved and accomplished personal goals through hard work, personal fortitude and perseverance.
In addition to meeting these three brave survivors, each student participated in several hands-on activities to increase their understanding and ability to relate to people with disabilities. Students experienced what it would be like to be confined to a wheelchair, how challenging it would be to attach a prosthetic arm to one’s body each morning, or how to eat without being able to see the food on your plate.
The goal in bringing ATOU to Bacich is to help our young people understand the challenges that may be experienced by people with disabilities and to learn the importance of accepting and respecting people different than themselves. I am confident that this unique experience has provided our fourth graders with a perspective that they will never forget.
We have already booked an ATOU visit for our fourth grade class of 2020-2021!