Rachal Mirriam Miller was born on April 9, 1992. The first three years of her life were filled with countless seizures, operations, lengthy hospital visits, and hours of challenging occupational, speech and physical therapies. Rachal has been diagnosed with Global Development Delays, Seizure Disorder, Epilepsy and Mental Retardation.
The purpose of the Sensitivity Awareness Workshop of Southwest Florida, Inc. is to educate individuals about people who have physical, mental or learning disabilities through an interactive approach. This workshop offers a comprehensive program that fosters understanding and a sincere sense of compassion and empathy toward people with disabilities.
Our goals are to change one heart at a time, to open others' eyes to the unique people with whom they share their schools, communities and world, and to convey the concept that any of us could be dealing with special needs or a learning disability. Hopefully participants also learn that understanding disability can breech the barrier of negative labeling, and that compassion and empathy, not ignorance, pity or sorrow, are acceptable responses toward others who are different from them.
Following are some insights from those who attended the workshop:
"I will never forget to be empathetic, sensitive and compassionate to all people. We have no idea the difficulties others have in their lives!" Beth, teacher, Skyline Elementary
"As a teacher of students with mental challenges I witnessed the immediate change in attitude of regular education students after they had completed the workshop. It was as if a light was turned on for them. I heard statements such as, 'Is this really what it is like for those students everyday?' and 'I never knew it was like this for them.' They had a whole new perspective for students with disabilities. This experience was truly positive and powerful for all students involved." Jill Bonnell, ESE teacher, Bonita Springs Middle School
"One thing I learned today that I never want to forget: How to have more compassion and less frustration with the children I teach!" Mrs. Giles, ESE teacher, Michigan Montessori Academy