Listen: Spinal Life's program provides a unique insight into some of the daily challenges faced by people with disability.
Meridan State College has become the first school to launch ‘The Realistic RACE’, an immersive disability awareness training program.
Designed to give participants insight into some of the challenges and barriers that people with disabilities face in the community, The Realistic RACE incorporates the use of wheelchairs, wheely walkers, vision canes and blindfolds as well as earmuffs which simulate hearing loss.
“It’s not meant to make people experts in disability,” says Spinal Life’s Dane Cross. “No one’s an expert unless you live it, but it does give people a unique insight into some of these challenges.”
The program, which is usually run for businesses and organisations, has been adopted by Meridan State College thanks to the passion of student Fin Coll. “By introducing the Realistic race in our school, I hope we can foster a greater understanding of what it’s like to live with a disability,” Fin says and explains that while he lives with Level 4 Cerebral Palsy, it has never deterred him from achieving his goals. Fin is doing a Cert 3 in Community Services as a school-based trainee with Spinal Life.
“My goal is to see our school and ideally all schools become more accessible for everyone, especially those with disabilities. I also hope that this initiative will lead to better training for our staff, enhancing their ability to support and communicate with students who have specific needs,” he says.
For Fin, the primary objective of the Realistic RACE is to foster a deeper understanding of disabilities among teachers and students.
“It is my hope that this will lead to the creation of a more accessible environment within our school environment. It is crucial to dispel the misconception that having a disability equates to incapability.”
The Realistic RACE is based on the Amazing Race concept, with each team overcoming a series of challenges.
For more information visit spinal.com.au.
Listen to the full interview in the player above.
Featured images supplied.