Our diversity played huge role in making this web site. Our diversity comes from our cultures, experiences and different challenges we face. We chose this topic when Julia watched several kids being unkind to Morgan because she has a physical disability. When Julia’s mom told her that those kids probably do not understand and are scared, Julia wanted to make difference. So, she suggested this topic so that we can educate kids about physical disabilities.
Axita joined the team because she found topic interesting. When she was in second grade, Axita had a surgery on both of her hands to correct bones of her thumbs. She had to spend months unable to use her hands, which made her understand some challenges that physically disabled people have to deal with. One of them was definitely dealing with teasing and questioning.
Lauren joined our team last, but her experiences with physical challenges helped us better understand how to treat people and how to help. Lauren had diabetes and has an insulin pump that helps her feel well. Kayla and Megan joined team even though they never thought or dealt with physical disabilities or people who had them. Some of the topics made them feel uncomfortable at first – just like many people. But working on the site helped them appreciate people with physical disabilities and understand that there is nothing to be uncomfortable about.
Finally, Morgan joined the team. Since she was the reason the team started it only made sense. Morgan has Spinal Muscular Atrophy and spends her life in wheelchair. She helped us understand how wonderful and amazing people with physical disabilities can be. She also made us even more determined to educate other students so that they can appreciate them too.
In addition some of our cultural backgrounds were important in understanding global issues. Our coach, Mrs. Lockard grew up in Croatia where she never sat in school with a person with disabilities because they were in different schools. Axita’s parents grew up in India where people with physical disabilities also did not go to school or went to different schools. The rest of us and our parents are from the United States where people with disabilities are in same schools and there are many accommodations, like parking spaces and ramps.
This background made for great discussions and we learned that issues with disabilities are not just teasing! We learned that in the world there are still less opportunities and that people from different cultures have different views of disabilities. We can only hope that kids reading our site will learn a lot and that will help them have a positive attitude toward people with disabilities when they are adults who make decisions in their countries.