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topic two – disability

general approach

Respect for life should include a respect for people, whoever they are. With advances in scientific knowledge it is possible for a mother to know if her baby is to be born with a disability and to face the choice between having an abortion or allowing her child to be born. Yet none of us is perfect, though some disabilities may be more easily hidden than others, e.g. shyness and short-sightedness. Also any of us could suddenly become disabled through an accident.

There are many examples of what people with disabilities have achieved. This topic highlights the qualities of character needed to overcome such challenges.

It could be asked whether the able-bodied show as much courage when meeting difficulties as the disabled. The class might consider the things which they say they cannot do and ask themselves whether they are living to their full potential. This raises the question of whether society would be richer or poorer without the example of those who can be seen to be overcoming great odds.

Activity one is an example of how this topic could be introduced. There is a choice of two further group activities for which you will need plans of the school and local maps.


In addition to the resource sheets, there is also material in module R1 M2 topic 4, which deals with common prejudices about disabled people. The video The 3Rs of Family Life (section 3) gives more examples. You may also have your own resources.

activity one

This can be done individually or in pairs with each pupil being given a copy of worksheet 3 on page 9 - I can't do that and one resource story from pages 13 and 14 or similar ones of your own. Other good examples are Good Vibrations which is the story of Evelyn Glennie, the deaf percussionist; Born without Limbs by Kenneth Kavanagh about Arthur MacMurrough Kavanagh, a family man and farmer who became a British Member of Parliament in the late 1860s, before artificial limbs were available.


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