DURHAM, N.H. -- The campers at the University of New Hampshire women's soccer Kids' Week participated in a unique kinds of activities Thursday, June 21 when members from Northeast Passage came to raise awareness about living with disabilities.
Northeast Passage, through its Similarity Awareness program, provides the opportunity for students of all ages to participate in games, activities and discussions, giving them the opportunity to explore the similarities we all share, regardless of ability. Using Northeast Passage's sport wheelchairs, staff members Chandler Bullard and Taylor Chace were able to teach the five-and six-year-old campers about living and playing with a disability.
Prior to the games, Chace and Bullard read a short story called The People You'll Meet. Written and illustrated by Northeast Passage, the story increases awareness of the similarities students with and without disabilities share.
Chace, a UNH graduate, won a gold medal with the U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey team at the 2010 Vancouver Paralympics and brought his medal and sled in to show the kids. Bullard, who uses a wheelchair, facilitated court games like sharks and minnows and high-five tag.
"Ultimately, they're playing a game and forget that they are in a wheelchair," said Chace about the kids at the end of the activities. "They don't see it as being in a wheelchair; they see it as playing a sport."
"It was a great opportunity to provide these young children with this educational experience," said women's soccer head coach Michael Jackson. "Taylor and Chandler were excellent with the kids."
For over 20 years, Northeast Passage has been a nationally recognized leader in the field of therapeutic recreation. As a non-profit affiliated with the University of New Hampshire, Northeast Passage specializes in providing innovative solutions for individuals with disabilities including children, adults and our nation's military personnel. For more information about Northeast Passage, visit www.nepassage.org.