Living with a disability


Now the students have had a chance to think about what disability is and what it means, we are going to explore things a little more. This part of the activity invites pupils to think more deeply about what it is like to have a disability and about how they would include someone with disabilities in their activities.

Activity 3

On the next page, you will find descriptions of different characters with different disabilities. Split the class into small groups and give each group a different character. Ask someone in each group to read the character’s description out loud, so everyone can get to know the character.

You can also create your own or, ask someone you know with a disability if you (or they) can write a description about them. But if you are using a real person, make sure they are happy for you use their description!!

A group of 6 blue characters, all wearing yellow and dark blue clothes. One is blind, and is using a white cane and wearing dark glasses; the next has his hands up and is backing away as if nervous; the next person is wearing a hearing aid and signing 'n' in british sign language; the next person is holding their chin and their head and looking worried; the next person is standing looking tired, with their hand up to their forehead and eyes closed; the final person in front of the group is sitting in a wheelchair, waving.

Invite your students to discuss the following questions:

  • What challenges might that person face day to day just getting up, getting to school, etc.? 
  • What challenges might they face at school in the playground or classroom?
  • What challenges might they face making friends? 
  • How might this make them feel?
  • What could you do in the playground, in the classroom or in your club to include that person in your lessons, games or activities?

Your pupils can answer these questions in groups or as individuals but make sure they have a chance to discuss their answers as a class.

You can download a worksheet with the questions on in word format here:

Additional activities:

You can invite your students to do some research by interviewing/ chatting to someone they know who has disabilities. This could be another student, a friend outside school or a relative. However, disability can be a sensitive subject for some people, so you must ensure people are completely happy talking about themselves before you begin asking questions.  You also do not want to single students out for special attention if they are not comfortable with that.

An alternative is for them to talk to an organisation, such as a charity or hospital that works with people with disabilities. They may be able to give a greater insight into what it is like living with disability.  

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