Students Learn To Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes

Students Learn To Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes photo

Fourth grade students at F.E. Bellows Elementary School welcomed 13-year-old Ava, who suffers from Usher syndrome, and her mother Carly Fredericks as special guests to their school on April 26. During the assembly, Ava, who was born deaf and is slowly losing her vision due to the disease, talked about Usher syndrome and her experiences.

“We are learning about how everyone is unique and embracing who we are and what makes us special,” said teacher Ellie Speros, who organized the assembly. 

During the assembly, the students talked about the five senses, learned how to sign each letter of the alphabet and spelled words using the Braille alphabet. In addition, one student walked with Ava’s cane and others completed a mystery box challenge, in which they were asked to guess what was in the box without looking at the items. The activities were designed to raise awareness and help students experience what it is like to walk in someone else’s shoes.

Speros said her students have been learning sign language, how to read lips and read Braille, notice Braille in the real world and more, as part of the Seekers and Solvers’ “A Mile in Your Shoes” unit. 

“They’ve been participating in various real-world applications and hands-on class experiences to learn strategies that differently abled people use to navigate life,” Speros said. “At the end of our unit, students will create an interactive, station-based experience for other fourth grade students.”  

For more information on Usher syndrome, visit www.avasvoice.org.