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Wednesday, December 01, 2010 at 9:47 am

BAR HARBOR — Have you ever tried to spread jelly on a slice of bread with someone tugging on your arms?


Marina Gilpatrick guides Conner Malbon through an obstacle course during the Special Needs Awareness Day event at Conners-Emerson School in Bar Harbor on Nov. 23. — ISLANDER PHOTO BY DICK BROOMIf so, then you might have an inkling of what it’s like to have cerebral palsy.

Students at Conners-Emerson Elementary School had a chance to experience that during the school’s Special Needs Awareness Day on Nov. 23.

At nine activity stations set up around the gym, they gained insight into the challenges of living with several types of physical disabilities, as well as disabilities involving learning, communication and social interaction.

To simulate blindness, students were led through an obstacle course while wearing a blindfold. At another station, they struggled to pick up various objects while wearing socks on their hands. Seated in a wheelchair, they learned how difficult it is to open doors or reach books on high shelves.

This was the fifth time in the past six years that the school has had a Special Needs Awareness Day.

Teacher Jeanne Gilpatrick, who coordinated the event, said it is based on the premise that awareness leads to understanding, which brings about acceptance.

Students in grades one through eight took part in this year’s activities.

For more education news, pick up a copy of the Mount Desert Islander.



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