Disabilities Awareness Program

Meg Ralston, an Autistic Support Consultant for BLaST Intermediate Unit 17, who herself has a physical disability, works with local school districts to plan and teach lessons to elementary school students on developing awareness and appreciation of similarities and differences among people.

Interview Video Clips

The following video clips of an interview with Meg Ralston, Autistic Support Consultant for BLaST IU 17 and Jennifer Cooley, School Counselor for the Donald E. Schick Elementary School in the Loyalsock Township School District, provide an overview of this exemplary program for students.

Introduction of teacher and school counselor.

Describe the collaboration between IU 17 and the School District relative to planning and implementing the Disabilities Awareness lessons for students.

As a school counselor, how do you plan and communicate with staff and parents to provide services for students with disabilities?

What specific instructional strategies do you feel are most effective in helping students understand and appreciate differences among people?

What progress or impact have you seen in your students’ acceptance and appreciation of differences and similarities among each other as a result of the Disabilities Awareness classes?

What kinds of professional development experiences have you engaged in to increase your knowledge and expertise in the area inclusionary practices?

What advice or suggestions would you give to teachers in working with students with severe disabilities?


Classroom Lesson and Conferences Video Clips



Pre-lesson Conference

Description of scope and goals of Disabilities Awareness program

Overview of lesson (Click here to view the written plan for this lesson.)

Strategies to assess student learning

Reflection on the purpose of the lesson


Classroom Lesson

Introduction and assessment of prior knowledge

Purpose of lesson

Large group instruction/class discussion (types of disabilities): “We are more alike than we are different”.

Modelng of how we are alke and how we are different

Smaller group simulation and reflection by students: What is it like to have a disability?

Modeling/demonstration by Miss Meg: Tying a shoe

Questions from students and answers by Miss Meg



Post-lesson Conference and Reflection

Post-lesson conference and reflection