Dutch Broadway host Disability Awareness Day


Dutch Broadway School students in grades four through six attended three educational assemblies as part of the school’s sixth annual Disability Awareness Day. Joe Slaninka, a teacher from the Henry Viscardi School in Albertson — one of the country’s top educational institutions for children with severe physical and medical disabilities — led the assemblies to discuss the importance of disability awareness.

Viscardi School ambassadors senior Boruch Nojowitz, sophmore Paul Navarro and freshman Hunter Tobias joined Slaninka and discussed their own disabilities. As the students talked about their family life, future goals and their likes and dislikes, they also informed Dutch Broadway students on what it meant to be disabled and how they overcame and live with their disabilities.

Dutch Broadway physical education teacher Debra Bennett called the assemblies a success and said that students left with a new appreciation for individuals with disabilities. Bennett previously told the Herald that she was a childhood friend of Slaninka, and together they were able to create a partnership between their two schools to help their students connect with each other back in 2014.

“Just because they are in a wheel chair or maybe speak or look differently, at the end of the day we’re all the same,” Bennett said. “They have the same goals and interests as we do.”

Dutch Broadway School officials added that they were proud of their assembly program with the Viscardi School. Dutch Broadway will host a wheelchair basketball exhibition match between the Viscardi School’s wheelchair basketball team and local teachers on March. 8.