Accessibility Assessment

Student(s): Kelsey Jennett, Kendra Asher, Julia Ruggirello
Mentor Teacher: Matthew Ceo, Saline School District
Grade Level: 6-7 Subjects: Social Studies
MSU Instructor: Kim Keglovitz Email:

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Disability Awareness/Equality

Type of Service

Direct Service, Advocacy

Project Overview

This project we are planning is based around the central question of “Is our town truly handicap accessible?” The lesson will start with the students reading stories about people who overcame the obstacles they faced because of their disability. Then, students will hear from a panel of people with a variety of disabilities from their community about the obstacles they have faced in the city. Afterwards, the students will learn about what adaptations people with different disabilities need to have the same accessibility to buildings and area. They will make “report cards” to grade buildings on their accessibility to people with that disability. The students will then go out to different local businesses and evaluate their accessibility. Lastly, the students will return their finished report cards to the business owners with recommendations on what can be done to improve the accessibility of their building or business.

Rationale & Goal

The goal of the service learning project is disability awareness and advocacy. It is also important that students identify the need of better accessibility in the community and decide to evaluate the local businesses and show local business owners how they can adapt their stores to accommodate all people.


Effective Practice: MEANINGFUL SERVICE

Service learning actively engages participants in meaningful and personally relevant service activities.

What community need will you address and how did you determine the need?

We will address the need of accessibility for all citizens to buildings in the community. The need will first be noted by the students when they read about all the obstacles that the people in the short stories faced. It will then be determined that this need is present in the community when the panel comes in and shares their personal stories of the obstacles they faced. The extensiveness of the need is determined when the students examine buildings in the community for their handicap accessibility.

What service will you provide to address the need?

To address the need, the students will be going out into the community with an evaluation sheet. The students will grade the buildings on their accessibility to people who have disabilities in the group they are studying. The students will then report to the local business owners their findings and what they can do to improve their handicap accessibility.


Effective Practice: LINK TO CURRICULUM

Service learning is intentionally used as an instructional strategy to meet learning goals and/or content standards.

How is this project related to your curriculum?

Students will be discussing and researching the public policy of disabilities and how the issue has been handled. In addition, students will be learning about diversity and social problems through their research, reading, and the panel. When students complete the grading sheets and share with the business owner, they will be spreading knowledge to the local level. Through the implementation of the service learning project students will be again participating in projects to inform others.

What are the educational goals?

Students will learn how to identity public issues, research and analyze information, and develop a solution to make a difference. They will also learn how to present information to others.


Curriculum Crafter Connections

Strand: 06SS: (Public Discourse, Decision Making, and Citizen Involvement)
TLW: Identify and investigate a public issue in the Western Hemisphere, analyze information about it, and develop a solution to present to others. (Capstone project)
(Gist: Western Hemisphere – Global Issues Project)

Strand: 07 ELA: (Speaking and Listening)
TLW: Add a visual or auditory presentation to enhance or to help clarify the knowledge and ideas. (Gist: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas)

Strand: 06SS: (History Social Studies Science and Technical Subjects Writing
TLW: Participate in shared research to build and present knowledge. (Gist: Research to Build and Present Knowledge)


Effective Practice: REFLECTION

Service learning incorporates multiple challenging reflection activities that are ongoing and that prompt deep thinking and analysis about oneself and one’s relationship to society.

What form(s) of reflection will you use with the students to help them identify what they have learned and accomplished?

Students will write letters to parents describing the service learning project. Students will need to summarize the activities and goals into their own words. Students will also write reflections, based on journal prompts, on how they felt and what they thought about the accidents that affected the people we read about. Other journal entries will be based on their changing views after a panel of disabled people. There are multiple occurrences of student Think-Pair-Sharing as well.


Effective Practice: DIVERSITY

Service learning promotes understanding of diversity and mutual respect among all participants.

What types of diverse perspectives and experiences will be explored as part of your project?

(i.e.: cultural, generational, abilities/disabilities, learning styles, etc.)

Students will become more informed about abilities and disabilities. Many disabilities will be presented from people of different generations and cultures. It will be beneficial for students to hear from people that have experienced disabilities in other cultures or countries for this as an intro to the global education aspects.


Effective Practice: YOUTH VOICE

Service learning provides youth with a strong voice in planning, implementing, and evaluating service learning experiences with guidance from adults.

How will students gain ownership of the project?

Students will provide suggestions for the service learning project. They will brainstorm ideas, discuss the ideas in class and eventually vote on what project they want to take on. Students will also be able to choose which particular disability they want to research. They will also be the facilitators of the panel discussion and come up with the questions to be discussed.



Service learning partnerships are collaborative, mutually beneficial, and address community needs.

Who will you partner with for this project?

We will partner with local business owners. We will evaluate their properties and provide them with report cards to serve as a guide for them to take the initiative to improve their facilities to accommodate the needs of the disabled. Also, in order to gain insight on different disability accommodations, we will partner with local organizations that help the disabled and disabled people who are willing to talk about their day to day routines and challenges.

How will students benefit from this partnership?

Students will benefit from these partnerships by talking to disabled people to better understand not only their disabilities, but also to recognize their abilities. They will also learn more about the businesses in the community and feel a sense of belonging as they work to enhance the city for all citizens.



Service learning engages participants in an ongoing process to assess the quality of implementation and progress toward meeting specified goals, and uses results for improvement and sustainability.

How will you assess the student learning goals?

Student learning will be assessed through their writing, research, and presentation of findings.

How will you assess your service goals?

Service goals will be assessed through the student journals, feedback from the business owners, and changes that take place in the community based on the students’ findings and recommendations.



Service learning has sufficient duration and intensity to address community needs and meet specified outcomes.

How will you prepare students for this experience?

We will prepare the students for this experience by extensive research, reading and physical activities to see what it might be like to be disabled in the community (i.e.; letting students try to get around in a wheelchair, with diminished vision glasses, etc.)

What are some sample possible activities students might do as part of this project?

Students will be able to participate in listening to a panel of local community members who have disabilities and have the opportunity task questions. Also, students will do research on different disabilities (how it affects people, friends, family, restrictions, laws, etc.) Students will assess the community and “grade” the local businesses.



The three arms of sustainability are environmental stewardship, economic growth, and social progress. Think planet, profit, and people.

Describe how your project addresses the issue of sustainability?

Our project addresses sustainability as it promotes social equality for people with disabilities. It also has the potential to promote economic growth for local businesses because it will allow upgraded accommodations to be made for all patrons in the community. What the students take from this project will not only benefit them now, but in the future as well since they will know how to incorporate different accommodations and to respect the needs of those who are different than themselves. These are valuable life lessons!