Did you know that one billion people today are living with disabilities? That’s one in every seven people. The world doesn’t always perfectly accommodate everyone’s unique abilities, which is why we’re so impressed by our public school teachers across the U.S. who use DonorsChoose.org to acquire materials that enable them to support all learners.
For the past month, our friends at Google have been honoring teachers of students with special needs by hosting school-wide celebrations. In seven communities across the United States, they funded over 700 DonorsChoose.org special needs projects totaling nearly $720,000. It’s all part of Google’s focus on improving the lives of people with disabilities through their Global Impact Challenge: Disabilities. And starting today through December 31, Google is making it even easier to support teachers reaching all students. During this holiday season, every time you use Android Pay, Google will donate $1 towards special needs projects on DonorsChoose.org, up to $1 million.
Check out a couple of the special needs projects that are inspiring us and our Googler friends right now:
- Ms. Nahalewski submitted a request for materials to build custom standing desks outfitted with foot swings. This rockstar special education teacher learned that many students learn best while moving, but standing desks were too expensive for her school to provide them to all students. With a parent’s help, Ms. Nahalewski designed her own version that cost just $15 per swing-desk. Students now have the opportunity to get their energy out and still participate in all classroom activities.
In her own words: I had one student who would work for rocks. I would drive up the canyon and find a variety of rocks that motivated them to work hard. Each student is so different and so being creative and flexible are a huge part of every day.
- Mr. Starr requested a 3D printer so that his students could be engineers using the technology of the future. A number of students in his adaptive physical education class have sensory and tactile needs. Through creating hands-on 3D tools, students can see, feel, and interact with the material allowing all learners to participate.
In his own words: Nothing compares to seeing your students happy and learning in your classroom.
In communities around the United States, teachers are inventing, dreaming, and creating special needs project requests to get the materials that will best serve all of their students. Take a look! We promise you’ll be inspired too.