‘Breaking Down the Barriers'

the cane walk The SOJAD program aim is to educate the community to be accepting of those with disabilities. We provide year's 7-10 students in mainstream schools with a one day program at St Edmund's to learn about and experience what it means to have a disability.

Our beliefs:

  • That the community needs to be educated around disability to raise levels of awareness and acceptance.
  • Considering the dignity and abilities of all involved in the program should be paramount.
  • It is important that charitable organizations and services like St. Edmund's, catering for those with disabilities, be presented in a most positive light and that their profile within the community be raised.
  • Relationships across both disability and mainstream sectors need to be fostered.
  • Opportunities need to be provided for the development of advocacy skills.

SOJAD aims:

  • To provide a wide range of experiences around understanding disability for as many senior students in a variety of mainstream schools as possible.
  • To provide opportunities for the development of meaningful relationships between St. Edmund's students and students in mainstream schools.
  • To collaborate with mainstream schools in the development of the program ensuring that it is on a mutually beneficial basis and where the creative talents of all are encouraged.
  • To provide leadership opportunities for St. Edmund's and mainstream students.
  • To promote St. Edmund's across the schools in relation to mainstream school social justice programs.

Participating students will experience a range of activities, including the following:

  • Activities that raise awareness of what it is like to have an intellectual or learning disability.
  • Introduction to Braille, sighted guide technique and blind sports.
  • Opportunities to socialise with St. Edmund's students during class activities, recess and lunch.

Below are responses we have received from students who have attended the program:

To whom this may concern

My name is Blake and a student of St. Edward's College Gosford. On Monday the 14th of March I visited your school for your social justice program. I am writing to you, to thank your school so much for bringing us into your school and teaching us the ways that blind people throughout the world learn to read, write, feel and walk. The exercise you gave us was the teachings of Braille, this was not only educating but it was also a life lesson of what blind people all around the world face in their everyday life.

I also enjoyed interacting with some of the students who are attending your school, such as Isaac, Patrick, Caitlin and Joseph. These four magnificent kids have made myself realise how much they love just playing games and having a good time, and also how much I have taken these basic activities for granted.

After today I have learned so much about myself and the students of St. Edmund's and I thank your kind and generous school for taking me and my fellow school mates in for a day.

Yours sincerely Blake R

To the Staff and students of St. Edmund's
Thank you for welcoming us into your school and letting us be a part of your community for the day. We really loved being in class playing and spending time with the kids and getting to know them. We learnt so much from just one day and it's encouraged us to do something like this again.
Love from the Brigidine girls - Liv, Lauren, Lou & Ellie