Grandview’s Ability Awareness Program is a free service available to schools, daycares and community groups in Durham Region to enhance awareness about differences, while advocating acceptance and inclusion.
Our Ability Awareness presenter Marshall Hohmann provides group presentations tailored to various age groups to raise awareness of a variety of disabilities.
Our Family Engagement Coordinator Andrea Belanger is available to work with parents/guardians to develop a customized, positive presentation that focuses on valuing differences.
Parents/guardians, principals, teachers and staff can request an Ability Awareness presentation.
To request an Ability Awareness presentation, please contact:
Avori Cheyne, Director of Strategic Communications, Partnerships and Engagement
905-728-1673 x 2240
toll free 1-800-304-6180 x 2240
Feedback about Grandview’s Ability Awareness Program:
“The Ability Awareness Program promotes awareness and equity and highlights ways that students’ differences can be valued.”
“Visual aids were excellent. Interaction and questions from the students were always encouraged.”
“The presentation was engaging and interesting. Thanks!”
“This was very positive in increasing awareness of the abilities of children with various challenges.”
“I like how the presentation got the kids thinking and sharing. It was worthwhile – and the presenter was enthusiastic.”
“Excellent presentation involving students from JK to Grade 8. Everyone was able to learn and participate.”
“Overall I thought the presentation went very well. It has led to some of the students attempting to form some positive relationships with J. I think the most received and helpful part was the book about J. It led me to think that if I have/we have a student with J’s needs again it, would be great if they entered their new [school] environment with a book like this.”– Paul Switzer, Kindergarten Teacher, Glen Dhu Public School, Whitby
“The Ability Awareness presentation that was provided by Grandview to my son Ryan’s class was exceptional! His Grade 4 classmates were very interested in the presentation and in learning ways that Ryan is just like them. They were given an opportunity to ask questions about disabilities and about Ryan. The students just wanted to understand him and his needs better so they can be a better friend to him. This presentation helped them to gain that understanding. Thank you!”– Kelly Smigielski, Ryan’s mother
“We want to thank you for the excellent presentation to our son’s class. He was thrilled, as was his brother and all of their classmates. The customized storybook you prepared was ‘bang on’ and targeted the concerns our son had [about the way his disability is perceived by peers] most appropriately. We plan to use it every year from now on to share with each classroom teacher. Your kindness, compassion and understanding of children with special needs is much appreciated in how you met with us and our son to learn about him and our family, and in how well you conducted the presentation to his class.”– Parent