Below is a list of testimonials gathered over the years from Students, Parents and Teacher that have gone through or have had a child go through a Touch of Understanding presentation.

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Testimonials from Students:

It would be easier now to make friends with someone with a disability because now that we learned about people with disabilities I am more aware that they are no different from me and they have the same feelings as me.  Just because someone walks or talks or does or has something different than me doesn’t change who they are and it’s not the outside it’s the inside that counts.
-High school student

To treat people with disabilities just like everyone else.  And we need to be compassionate to others.
-High school student

I was uncomfortable because I didn’t know what was wrong with the person and then I thought that she was weird. Until I got to know her and now her and I are best friends.
-High school student

I learned that a lot of people with disabilities have great personalities.
-High school student

It would be easier to make friends with a disabled person now because I know they are people just like me and they want to be treated the same way as everyone else.  I learned that everyone is not the same, but you need to accept that because on the inside, they are just like me.
-Elementary school student

Because now I know it isn’t funny to have a disability, it is probably hard, so I can be friendly.  It’s not funny or scary to have a disability.
-Elementary school student
I know what they are going through and I don’t want to leave them out just because they might not be able to do what you and I can.
-Elementary school student

I know that even though someone has a disability they can still be a good friend.
-Elementary school student

Just because you have a disability doesn’t mean you can’t follow a dream or meet a goal.
-Elementary school student

I won’t be scared from artificial arms and legs people have or wheelchairs. I will still remember people are same inside. I first, was scared. But I learned a lot and I am not afraid.
-Elementary school student

I especially loved it because I play with lots of kids that have disabilities and they’re very nice. I think people shouldn’t stare but they should learn about disabilities and be friends with people the have disabilities.
-Elementary school student

Thank you for teaching me about your experience so I learned now what it feels like to be you.
-Elementary school student

Thank you for teaching us about how we should act when we see a person that has a certain disability. Now when I see people with disabilities I will smile at them in a good way to make them feel happy.’
-Elementary school student

You taught me to not stare at people with disabilities and to care for them. Because sometime I might have a disability.
-Elementary school student

I learned that it is not funny to laugh at a person that has disabilities or anyone else.
-Elementary school student

I learned about so many things about blindness from you. People are just like you, they should not laugh, they should not stare, they should be kind, they should talk in a nice way or they could start a conversation.
-Elementary school student

I also learned that if a person has a special tool that they use they still can do stuff we can do.
-Elementary school student

I learned how to be friends with people who have wheelchairs, braces or even can’t see.  They are the same as anyone else. Thanks for teaching us all how to feel about people who have learning disabilities.
-Elementary school student

Most of all thank you for teaching me to act the same around disabled people because they are just like you and me.
-Elementary school student
I learned you should never take one look at a person and just say, “that person is dumb.”  You shouldn’t.  You should get to know the person better.
-Elementary school student

I learned to show friendship to everyone including people with disabilities. I also learned it isn’t nice to laugh at people who look or act different than you.
-Elementary school student

Something I learned from you is that you should never bother or distract a service dog, always ask the owner before petting a dog.  I also learned life is too short to worry about little things, so enjoyed it.
-Elementary school student

Thank you for giving us the gift of your time. I learned a lot. One thing I learned was to respect people with disabilities. My brother has high order autism and my family teats him the same but when we go to the store everyone points and stares. They just won’t take the time to listen. He does everything I can just differently.  He even goes to different countries websites and learns their language!
-Elementary school student

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Testimonials from Parents:

I think she has lost part of her fear of them. She now sees a person not just the disability.
Elementary school parent

My son is having more compassion for those with disabilities and a willingness to include everyone in his circle of friends.
Elementary school parent

She shared the entire program with us many times – all areas. I think she will be more understanding and more helpful to people with various disabilities.
Elementary school parent

My child mostly talked about how much these people still got out of life even with the disabilities that they had. It’s important for children to be able to interact with people who have disabilities, in order to feel more comfortable and realize that they are not much different at a core level than anyone else.
Elementary school parent

Although my daughter had been exposed to both physically and mentally disabled people, I think it’s always valuable for kids to see other types of disabilities and be able to socialize and not feel intimidated. I think that your curriculum and your speakers are very valuable and I think it’s a wonderful program. Keep up the good work!
Elementary school parent

Education and exposure are keys to understanding. This program provided both.
Elementary school parent

It will enforce compassion with anyone and everyone, no matter what their situation may be.
Elementary school parent

She was excited about the knowledge of disabilities she was previously unaware of. Compassion has certainly taken over where the lack of knowledge was.
Elementary school parent

She talked about this program and the people she met for days. She understands and we talked about how people with disabilities are very able and use their abilities to overcome their challenges and difficulties and are happy individuals with special needs. This is a wonderful program.
Elementary school parent

We have some family members with disabilities, but he had been uncomfortable around amputees. Now, he says he’ll be fine around them. Thank you!!
Elementary school parent

She was worried about seeing people with physical disabilities, but found out it wasn’t as scary as she thought.
Elementary school parent

It opened up a new discussion into her brother’s condition that made her see what his life would have been like 40 years ago without as much “science” (Living in institutions). She decided she’s glad he’s at home with us.
Elementary school parent

She will know how to accept and behave around individuals with disabilities. Thank you! I think other children just don’t know how to act around others with disabilities and this program brought real people and stories to clear things up.
Elementary school parent

He talked about it for a couple of days; the fact that he is no longer afraid of the unknown. He said to me, you don’t have to be scared. Elementary school parent

They may be more comfortable approaching or interacting with disabled persons and realize they are more alike than different. I have never heard my sons talk so much about a school assembly. They really learned a lot and enjoyed it. Thank you!
Elementary school parent

She knows that people with many different disabilities can enjoy full and productive lives.
Elementary school parent

[He will have] more compassion for people with disabilities. His older brother has down syndrome. He did not understand that his brother has a mental disability and now he understands it more.
Elementary school parent

If you are not exposed to people with disabilities, when you see them you feel curious and scared. Even if you want to approach them you don’t know how to act. It’s important for kids to realize that they are people just like them and to experience interactions with them to gain a level of comfort. My daughter’s participating in the program lead to some insightful conversations in our home. Thank you!
Elementary school parent

It taught him to be more understanding and to treat all types of people with the same respect and understanding.
Elementary school parent

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Testimonials from Teachers

We have a special needs child in our class, so I found the program especially good this year. Although my class has always been very caring about this child, your presentation gave us an opportunity to discuss the ideas of empathy versus sympathy. Thank you so much.
Elementary School Teacher

My students loved the challenges in the adventure book. They also cherished the Braille alphabet. A story I’d like to share that shows how wonderful your program is: We have an autistic student who had quite a loud episode while class was in session the other day. She was screaming in the hallways and banging on windows. My class started to giggle and some were annoyed since we were testing. I asked them all to think about the bookmarks they signed and their buttons and the message, “I CHOOSE TO BE KIND!” I reminded them that life can be hard living with a disability. They immediately changed their attitudes. I saw looks of anger turn to acceptance and laughter turned to an understanding silence! Thank you so much for giving me the tools, the words to use, and the experience for my students. I’m not sure how the situation would have looked a few weeks before?!? Your program is amazing!!
Elementary School Teacher

I believe that many students don’t have a lot of experience with disabled people. I do think that when they will come in contact with them, they will now be much more understanding and empathetic because of ATOU. I think it’s a fabulous program.

I am a 6th grade teacher at Excelsior Elementary School and am very pleased that we have been able to provide our students with presentaions from “A Touch of Understanding.” I have seen this program bring hope, compassion, and inspire many students to think about their impact on others.

Last year I had a student in my class named Andrew. Andrew suffered from OCD, and his symptoms became so severe that he could no longer go to school. I started teaching Andrew at home after school so he could attend therapy during the day. Many kids knew Andrew had a problem, but wern’t sure how to help him or what the proper way to react when Andrew strugled with his OCD. Andrew wanted students to know about his OCD but wasn’t sure how it should be addressed.

My students attended a presentation by A Touch of Understanding” and the response they gave me, brought me to tears. Two students in my class shared that they had siblings with disabilities and discussed with the class what it was like when people stared or treated them differently. At the end of the day, one of my students came up to me and sincerely thanked me for having the class participate with “A Touch of Understanding”. He said that for the first time he “really understood what it might be like for someone with a disability” and that he realized how his actions could affect someone.

After sharing what took place at school with Andrew and his parents, they felt it might be best for me to explain to the class what Andrew’s struggle with OCD was like. When I did, the response was very positive. Students expressed a lot of compassion toward Andrew and tried to imagine what it might be like to be him.

When Andrew returned to school weeks, later, he was met with tremendous support and understanding from his classmates. In fact many kids began to socialize with Andrew that hadn’t before and defended him when students from other classes commented that Andrew was different. I am so grateful that Andrew was able to end the sixth grade on such positive terms, and don’t think this would of hapened if my studens hadn’t attended   “A Touch of Understanding”. Elementary School Teacher

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