In January, several SSENC/RESSC executive members from across the country had the opportunity to work with one of our partner organizations, The Rick Hansen Foundation, to review some new educational resources prior to publication. These materials are designed to provide K-12 teachers with the tools needed to build caring and inclusive classrooms. The focus of the review was on their “Be Bold” materials which is the third part of their “Create an Inclusive School Year” resource kit. The first two parts of this resource, 1 – Be Aware and 2 – Be Kind are already available for teachers to access on the Rick Hansen foundation website, while the “Be Bold” materials will be live in April. The “Be Aware” materials help students learn about inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility for people with disabilities as they are centred on the idea that awareness is the first step to creating change. The “Be Kind” materials focus upon anti-bullying, and the difference kindness makes. The third part of this program, “Be Bold”, encourages youth to take bold action to improve accessibility in order to make a difference in their communitiesPicture of Rick Hansen

The focus of these resources is to teach youth the benefits of diversity, and ultimately motivate them to become the next generation of accessibility champions. Each theme includes:

  • RHF Ambassador presentations on the topic. RHF Ambassadors are individuals with various disabilities affecting their mobility, vision, and/or hearing. They share their engaging stories with children and youth in schools and communities via virtual presentations.
  • Pre-and-post presentation short activities to engage students in thoughtful conversations. The activities are available for each grade level from kindergarten to Grade 12.
  • Additional resources, videos and activities to compliment each theme.

As part of the review process, SSENC/RESSC members collaborated with the Rick Hansen foundation to look at how teachers could effectively use these materials in their classrooms as well as which Social Science curriculum documents from across the country they best align with. We are excited to partner with the Rick Hansen foundation and look forward to these resources being available to educators across the country.