Diverse Abilities Day Information and Reservation Form 2021-2022
Materials are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.  Please allow at least 72 hours response time except weekends, holidays or summer.  In those cases, it may take a bit longer for volunteers to respond.  Thank you for your patience in our working to accommodate the needs of everyone.  If you have any questions, please contact Jenni at jenni@friscosage.org, or your local school district contact.  For Frisco ISD, contact the FISD Council of PTA SAGE Chairwoman Megan Buehler at SAGE@friscopta.org, or your campus Parent Trainer (Kimberly Goushey, gousheyk@friscoisd.org; Marti Mata, matama@friscoisd.org; Shannon Tibbits, tibbitss@friscoisd.org; Megan Walls, wallsm@friscoisd.org).  For Prosper ISD, contact your campus Family Support Specialist Colleen Kugler at cmkugler@prosper-isd.net, or Kristin Foster at kmfoster@prosper-isd.net.

Please ensure you have read the Quick Start Guide with F.A.Q. (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-z7wRpuKIXW1X3DZB3eMarvr-Jd5ooRsZRMV-FpO5C0/edit?usp=sharing).  Some stations require you obtain consumables/materials that we do not provide to supplement the station kits, as well as tips on required space/equipment.

Thank you for your interest in brining this important program to your school/organizaion!
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Email *
Your Name: *
Your Cell Number: *
Please use numbers only (no dashes), including area code
School District *
School Campus: *
Your Position: *
Do you have permission from the school administration to schedule this event at your school? *
Have the dates and stations you have chosen been cleared with the administration? *
If you do not have approval from your school we suggest you wait to reserve stations.  If you reserve stations without approval from your school you will be required to email us to confirm that you have subsequently obtained approval.  You MUST notify us by email (friscosage@friscosage.org) within 3 days of reserving the stations or your reservation will be CANCELLED so that other schools have the opportunity to reserve those dates/stations.  If you select "No" or "In progress" you will receive an email reminding you that you must confirm within 3 days or your reservation will be cancelled.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q:  What is the purpose of this program?
A:  The purpose is to create awareness of different disabilities and how they affect others.  It allows students to appreciate differences in others and in themselves.  It gives students an appropriate place to ask questions and help dispel any fears or anxieties over things they may not understand and have not been explained to them.

Q:  What are some unexpected benefits from this program?
A:  Students and parents who have participated in this program love it.  It not only makes students comfortable being friends with others who are different, it also impacts their parents who may have grown up when things like disability were not discussed.  Parents who volunteer to assist with the program also report it having a positive impact on their comfort level and ability to understand disability better.  

Q:  Some people say that a simulation program is disrespectful and cannot adequately demonstrate what it's like to live with a disability every day.  Why not do a program where the students learn about disabilities without simulation activities?
A:  This program works because of the variety of ways it can be presented.  Children learn from experience.  While we cannot create simulations for all disabilities, we can give them a small glimpse into what those with disabilities must overcome daily to do what we sometimes take for granted.  This program focuses on respecting of everyone regardless of ability or disability, appreciating that we are all different and focusing on the positive ways we  can include others.

Q:  Why are there so many options in some of the stations?  Are we supposed to do it all?  
A:  Absolutely not!  For some stations, we try to include a variety of activities so that the station can be used for different ages and again the next year without seeming boring.  It also allows for students understanding that abilities, just like people, come with a lot of variations.

Q:  How long should students spend at each station?
A:  We suggest a minimum of 8 minutes at each station.  10-12 minutes is actually preferable.  You also have to allow for time moving between stations.  For an elementary school program that is being presented during the 45 minute "specials" classes, we suggest checking out 4 stations unless you are doing the program for more than one day.  Some schools opt to share 4 stations with K-2 and 4 different stations for 3-5.  That is also an option.

Q:  How do I know which stations to choose?
A:  Talk to your special education team at your school to help determine which stations they would find most beneficial.  They may even have some pointers on presentation based on the population at your school.  

Q:  Is it hard to find volunteers for this program?
A:  Yes and no.  It does often seem difficult to find volunteers for this program, but we have pointers and can even help if you give us enough notice!  Parents are not always comfortable talking about something that they do not have first-hand experience with.  Reassure reluctant volunteers that it's okay to say, "I don't know" when asked a question.  Assure them that they can see the materials ahead of time and adjust the presentation as they go.  Parents who do not have previous experience of being in charge of students may need to have a teacher nearby.  

If you are finding you are short volunteers, ask your PTA board to come work stations.  Another idea is to invite school sponsors especially if any of your sponsors have medical related practices.  You can also use volunteers from other schools as long as they have completed the annual background check if your campus allows this.  We have a list of people who frequently volunteer at other schools if they are short volunteers.  

Q:  Can we ask parents of students with disabilities to volunteer? What about students themselves?
A:  Due to privacy issues, the school cannot usually give you information on which students have disabilities.  That being said, if you know the parents personally, you can ask them if they would like to participate.   They can choose to include information about their child or not.  That should always be their call.  Some parents of students with disabilities have asked if their child can help with their presentation.   This has not only been meaningful for their peers, it also instills a sense of pride in the student presenting.

Q:  How does this program affect students who have a disability?  Are they embarrassed?  Do they feel that this program represents their disability well?
A:  The program was developed by Frisco ISD parent trainer Colleen Kugler back when she was a special education teacher with her students in mind.  Over the years, it has been expanded and adapted based on feedback from those with disabilities and their families.  We have found that students who were once filled with anxiety over others knowing about their differences become more open and proud as they feel celebrated for simply being who they are.

Q:  Can we do a station that is not listed?
A:  YES!  We have had parents of students whose disability is not a station we currently have create a station for their child's disability.  Families have educated students on Alopecia Totalis, Juvenile Arthritis, Tourette's Syndrome, Immune System Deficiencies, and Rare Genetic Diseases - just to name a few.  For those families who wish to create a station, we can also make a copy of that station to keep on hand for others who wish to check a station out for that as well.  We can also work with schools and parents to create or expand stations to fit their needs as well.

Q:  Can we preview what is available for each station before we pick up materials?
A:  Yes!   We have a list of what is contained in each station as well as some materials available digitally.  In some cases, there may be 2 different stations for the ones that are most in demand.  If both are available, we will allow you to choose what you want to check out.

Q:  Is there a cost for using the materials?
A:  NO!  But we would ask that you replace anything that is lost or broken.

Q:  How do I get the materials?  
A:  We will work with you to pick up the material from our storage facility that is centrally located in Frisco.  Having the materials stored this way allows for more flexibility when materials need to be picked up over the weekend or after school hours.

Q:  How long can I keep the materials?
A:  Generally, you will pick up the materials on Monday and return them on Friday.  The first date in the reservation block is the day you will pick up the materials and the last day listed is the day you will return the materials.  Your approval confirmation email will indicate the dates.  If you require a different schedule, please indicate in the notes section of this form so that we can work with you to accommodate changes.

Q:  Can we copy the program material for school use?
A:  The program as a whole cannot be duplicated as is due to copyrights on many of the materials.  While some schools create materials specific to their need to use from year to year, replicating this program for use without consent from Colleen Kugler is not allowed.  We respect the amount of time and grant money it has taken to create a program that is provided year to year for our district to use and would hope that others would respect that as well.
Please select the dates you wish to reserve stations for your Diverse Abilities Day program. *
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