On the 20th of July, Blythedale Children’s Hospital This week celebrated the 31st Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act with clinicians, patients and special guests.
The hospitals Speech Pathology and Audiology Department, “Blythedale bookworms”, coordinated by the Children’s life and creative art therapy program, and the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force to identify books with different protagonists and bring them into their hands and home as part of a literacy campaign for children with different abilities.
A patient at Blythedale Children’s Hospital reading an adapted book.
“Inspired by the Americans with Disabilities Act movement, we are also adapting some of the books at Blythedale to improve access for all children who may have physical, cognitive, or verbal differences that make a standard book inaccessible,” Abigail Crane said in a Blythedale Speech Speech Pathologist. “We physically dissect the actual book, which increases the communicative effect of the child and at the same time enables stories to be experienced in a new way.”
Some examples are page turning or cotton balls, which make it easier for children with physical disabilities to turn the pages manually, Velcro fasteners on sides with removable laminated core words and texture for tactile feedback.
The latest adaptive project includes a new children’s Picture book about sensory differences with the title “Wiggling, stamping and squeezing calm my nervousness” written by neurodiverse writer Lindsey Rowe Parker with Rebecca Burgess, an autistic illustrator.
The colorfully illustrated story follows a young girl with heightened sensory experience through her day with fun, interactive sounds and movements.
A speech therapist at Blythedale Children’s Hospital creates an adapted book for the patients.
“I’m so happy that the Blythedale team has customized this book for the children and families who are looked after in their programs,” said Parker. “We are proud to be able to offer our own little support this month to celebrate the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and to ensure that all people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.”
Blythedale’s local public school district, the Mount Pleasant Blythedale Union Free School District, is also celebrating the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act with a final stone project completed by some of its high school students (who are also day hospital patients in Blythedale).
Meghan Lyles, 16, of Wappingers Falls, Dutchess County, researched and presented to her 12th grade on the meaning and implications of the landmark 1990 Civil Rights Act, which outlaws discrimination on the basis of disability. Lyles was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and has undergone numerous surgeries for scoliosis.
“This project is about how we can all help people with disabilities like me to realize their dreams and reach their full potential “, She said. “The Americans with Disabilities Act is important to me because I know that just because I have a disability I don’t want to be treated differently, so why someone else?”
The book “Wiggles, Stomps and Squeezes Calm My Jitters Down” by Lindsey Rowe Parker. Parker was at Blythedale Children’s Hospital last week reading an adapted version of her book before Dec.
Parker read her book to doay hospital patients attending Mount Pleasant Blythedale School in grades K-6. Immediately thereafter, Blythedale speech therapists presented their adapted version of the same book.
Parker read her book aloud too Patients, in person and remotely, then distributed signed copies provided by Blythedale Bookworms. Blythedale speech therapists presented their adapted version of the same book.