Discuss With The Boys
Tips On Ways To Help The Handicapped -
Offer help when it looks as though it might be needed but
do not insist on it if the individual refuses aid.
Don't "hover". Handicapped people do not wish to be
treated as babies. Children react the same way. They want to be like you and
When a handicapped person falls, take it easy. Wait for
them to give you a cue. If he can get up by himself, he may prefer doing that.
If he needs a lift he will tell you which is the easiest way to get him back
on his feet.
Crutches and wheelchairs are necessary accessories. Don't
take them away from the handicapped person unless he indicates he would like
to have them out of the way. Nothing is more irritating than to have your
crutches grabbed quickly as soon as you hit the chair, leaving you stranded.
Vehicles are difficult even for the young and agile. The
handicapped often need help here, again, let them tell you how to help. Those
who do not need to be carried up the steps usually have methods of their own
for making them. Do not pull an arm or push from behind unless such assistance
has been requested. Precarious balance can be lost entirely with such tactics.
Relax. No matter what you do, if you are friendly and
kind, the handicapped person is going to like you.
Have fun. Talk about the same things you would with any
other person. A physical handicap does not necessarily limit your interests or
dampen your sense of humor.
Be yourself. Don't be sticky sweet. Omit the piety.
Let common sense and consideration be your guide, and you
will never err seriously. The disabled are just like you are, only with a
physical difference that does not have to make them feel or think differently.
When in doubt ask - "May I help you?" "How can I help?"
Remember that it is a whole person that we are dealing
What You've Wanted To Know About
Someone In A Wheelchair,
Afraid to Ask!
Provide a wheelchair and let the boys practice the
correct way to handle a wheelchair by being the one who is physically
challenged and non disabled. This will help to give them an understanding of
what it is like to be wheelchair bound
In order to ensure the safety and the comfort of
physically disabled people and non-physically disabled people when they are
together, it is important to remember the following:
Find out the mechanics of the wheelchair.
Before you start pushing a person in a wheelchair, check
for anything caught in the wheels - coats, blankets, scarves, hands, etc.
Check to see if the brake is off because a fast start
with the brakes could jar the person right out of the wheelchair.
It is better to back down an incline or curb so the chair
does not run away from you. To support it so it does not come down quickly,
avoid pushing against the back of the chair because that is the person's back.
If you are going up one small step, tip the front wheels
and move up. If there is more than one step go backwards.
If you must go up a flight of stairs with a person in a
wheelchair, make sure you have adequate help; one person behind and two people
on each side. Grab the chair where it is secure, where no parts will come off.
For example, sometimes arms will pull off the chair in order to facilitate
To go through a swinging door: if the door swings in,
push it open with your seat and pull the chair in backwards. If the door
swings out, open the door hold and pull, push the wheelchair through.
Don't try and take the chair through loose sand, gravel,
ice and snow. If it is necessary to go on rough ground, you may need to go
slowly or quickly depending on conditions. Sometimes if you tip the chair on
its rear wheels, it makes it easier.
When you are entering and exiting from an elevator, check
to see that the elevator and floor are level - avoid bumps.
Be careful of elevator doors, some close very quickly.
You cannot usually turn a wheelchair in an elevator, so
enter and exit the same way.
Wheelchair people don't like crowded elevators. They are
smothered and claustrophobic. Wait for another.
While walking with a person in a wheelchair, be aware of
the person and what he/she is interested in. If you are walking in a crowd, it
is difficult to hear so keep in touch, lean over, make comments, and see if
there is any place that the person would like to go.
Most people in wheelchairs don't like to go into the
middle of a crowd. Skirt it. Remember the level you are at. It is full of
noise, dust, dirt, kids, shopping bags, dogs, etc. This can be very
claustrophobic, so be aware of the feeling.
If you want to talk to a person in a wheelchair, go
somewhere where you can sit so that eye level is equal. Looking up is
difficult and tiring. If it is impossible to sit down, stoop over, bend over
or move a few steps away from the wheelchair, so that the back of the neck
does not have to he held back for long periods of time.
Be aware of eye level for viewing. Just because you can
see doesn't mean the person in a wheelchair can. Often bars, railings, block
the vision. Bend down to their eye level and check out what they can see.
The person in a wheelchair has fears about whether the
volunteer can handle the chair, so avoid dangerous positions; e.g. stairs,
inclines and ramps. If you must stop at the top of the stairs, turn the chair
sideways so that if the chair is bumped it won't go down, and put the brakes
If you are helping a person to stand up, give him a
waiting time so their body can adjust to the new position. Don't let go until
they say they are ready.
Check with the person on canes and crutches before you
assist them. A too helpful arm can throw them off balance.
A person in a wheelchair is not an object sitting in a
chair; it is a person. However, sometimes the person with a disability is the
object of curiosity. Be aware of it. Don't panic yourself. Try to treat the
situation as honestly as possible. Don't pretend the disability is not there.
When You Meet a Blind Person
Treat a blind person as you would anyone else. He does
the same things as you, but sometimes uses different techniques.
If you are not sure how much a blind person sees, ask.
Not all blind people have total absence of sight. Most have some sight and
make the best use of what vision remains.
Speak to a blind or visually impaired person in a normal
tone of voice. Identify yourself and let him know you are addressing him by
using his name or touching his arm. Be sure to indicate when you are leaving.
When walking with a visually impaired person, let him
take your arm if he wishes. Pulling him by the hand is awkward and confusing.
Do not hesitate to use words like "see", "look", or
"read". A blind person will use such words in his vocabulary as often as
Describe your surroundings, whether it is the scenery
from a moving car, an interesting incident on TV. or the layout of an
Give directions clearly and accurately. Pointing or using
phrases such as "over there" will be of no assistance.
Never distract a dog guiding a blind person. The dog
guide is responsible for the safety of its master and such interference could
lead to unnecessary tragedy.
Avoid the impulse to rush to a blind person's aid. If you
are not sure whether or not he needs your assistance, ask.
Remember, when you meet a blind person, common sense and
courtesy can lead to an enjoyable friendship.
After going over these tips have a trust walk with
have the boys blindfolded and the others leading based on what they have
learned. Then have them switch places.
DISABILITIES AWARENESS DAY
A disabilities awareness day will help boys understand
that some people have special needs different from their own. Through
activities, the boys will be able to see some of the challenges people with
special needs might face.
BLINDFOLDED OBSTACLE COURSE
Set up a course along a string guideline with stations
every 20 feet. Run the string guideline between posts, with the string 30
inches off the ground for the boys to hold on to as they go. (Make posts
from PVC pipe set in No. 10 cans filled with plaster. Drill holes through the
PVC pipe at 30 inches from the bottom of the can to run the string through the
pipe). Remind the boys that they need to move slowly for safety reasons.
Have adults at each station to direct the activities. Boys are blindfolded and
move along the string from station to station.
STATION #1: Boys must find a chair, sit on it, stand up, and
STATION #2: Boys must pick up wads of paper on the ground and
put them in a trashcan. Tell boys how many wads of paper there are so that
they can try to find all of them.
STATION #3: Boys peel an orange and eat it. Then they must place
the peels in a trashcan.
STATION #4: Boys pour a glass of water from a small pitcher and
Borrow or rent a manually operated wheelchair. Set up a
course that includes a left and right turn, a bump to negotiate over, and a
transfer point for boys to move from the wheelchair to a bench and back
without using their legs. Tie boys' legs together for added realism.
LIFE WITHOUT SOUND
Use heavy-duty headphones to cover the ears of each
participant. Show each boy a written message that he must convey to another
individual some distance away who also has his ears covered.
1 CAN'T USE THIS HAND
Each boy writes his name first right-handed and then
left-handed. Have him put his dominant hand behind his back and make a peanut
butter and jelly sandwich with only one hand.
The manual Alphabet or Signing is a means of
communication used by people who have a hearing impairment. See if you can
read what the hands are saying in our message below.
In the Braille alphabet, a pattern of raised dots represents each letter of
the alphabet. A person can "read" through his fingertips by feeling the raised
letters. Here is an alphabet written in Braille. The colored dots represent
the raised dots. If you poke a pinpoint through the back of each of the
colored dots, you can "raise" the letters. Try feeling the pattern with your
fingers. Now try to write your own coded message in the Braille alphabet.
Have the boys glue seeds or lentil beans onto index
cards. Write the letter on the back for
Reference. Use the cards to make messages. Try it
Write the Cub Scout Promise, Law of the Pack, or Motto on
a Popsicle stick plaque and hang it on the wall or stand it on your desk. You
may want to glue alphabet macaroni instead of writing with markers. Write or
draw some other messages too.
Materials: Thirteen Popsicle, sticks; cardboard;
paint; fine-pointed permanent markers; star shapes (wood or craft
foam); clear plastic sheet (like report cover or sheet protector). Photo of
your hero, string, and glue.
Make a frame with 6 Popsicle sticks, two on each side, one on top
and one on bottom.
Cut cardboard to 2 1/2 x 3 1/2". Cover it with glue and lay the
remaining 7 sticks side by side, touching each other. This is the backing.
Paint the frame and backing (on the Popsicle stick side) any color
If you are using wooden shapes, paint them.
Draw design on the frame with markers. (First practice on paper and
decide what you want to draw).
Glue star shapes onto the frame.
Put the photo of your hero behind the frame to see if it fits. If
it's too big, trim the photo.
Trace the photo on a clear plastic sheet. Cut the clear plastic.
Tape it to the photo. This will protect the photo.
Glue or tape the photo on the sides of the frame.
Attach the backing.
Tie string to the top horizontal Popsicle. Hang the frame.