Imagine that you are an elementary school student, and your entire class is going on an overnight camping trip. Of course, you would like to go and you start to feel excited. But then you remember your physical disability and realize that a nature hike would probably be impossible. But, luckily you have an amazing teacher who will take on the impossible to make it possible just for you.
Teachers work on the front lines trying to make inclusion work for all of their students. These teachers do not just accept a negative answer even though it might be easier. They step up and figure out a way to include everyone.
Maggie Vazquez is a 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy whose class went on an overnight camping trip, according to a report by CBS News. She also has an amazing teacher who found a way to include her.
Helma Wardenaar is Maggie’s teacher, and when the overnight camping trip came up, Helma wanted all of the children to be included. However, a manual wheelchair or a walker would not suffice in the camping environment. The research began with Helma searching for suitable equipment to take Maggie with the class. She spent hours researching and reaching out to others for help on social media, according to the report.
Renting a pony had been considered, but ponies aren’t acceptable on paths for pedestrians. Helma didn’t think she would be setting a good example for her class if she broke the law. Helma asked big brand outdoor companies for assistance in finding a solution, but they offered no information. Then she heard from a man named Greg who works for outdoors brand REI. He asked her to meet him at an REI store in Chicago.