The disabled access friendly world blog challenge: Creature Discomforts

29 Jun

Following on from the recent blog challenge on raising awareness of disability access issues, I came across the Leonard Cheshire Disability campaign whilst watching Shaun the Sheep dvds with my daughter.

The campaign is called “Creature Discomforts” and has very similar aims to the blog challenge – namely to get people to think about the way they see disability.

If you go to the Creature Discomforts website, there are eight short video ads (about 20 – 30 seconds each) and nine short radio ads.  Both of these have tapescripts available, so would be relatively easy to adapt into short listening tasks – the ads are very visually appealing and would be great with young learners.

There is also a “fun and games” section which contains a quiz about disability in the UK.  It could be interesting to do the quiz (which is multiple choice, one question at a time – questions change each time you do it) and get learners to compare the answers with the situation in their country.  For example, apparently only 50% of train stations in the UK offer step-free access to the platforms – what’s life like where you live?    The section also offers four different games that put the game player in the position of having a disability – in the Callum the Chameleon game, you can play with or without sight as you try to catch the flies buzzing around.  Sonny the Shrimp attempts to rescue fish from their hooks – from his wheelchair.  Tim-the-crutches-using-Tortoise attempts the long-jump, and finally Millie the mouse attempts to feed peanuts to her elephant friend.    I like the way the Chameleon game makes you think about the difference between playing the game sighted and unsighted – the other games are not quite as educational, but fun to play for the younger classes.

Leonard Cheshire Disability is also running a campaign called Action for Access from which you can download access survey forms for shops, organisations and buildings – there are separate forms for transport options.  If you work in the UK, then a class project could contribute to developing the access map on the site and making a positive contribution to the local community. If you work outside the UK, then you could adapt the access survey forms (they’re available in pdf or word) to fit your surroundings and develop a class project to survey the area around your school.  Some thoughts anyway!

Summer school teachers – have you considered that this could be a handy project to work with one week?  You could even incorporate some of the work into one of your trips out and about in the UK?  


3 Responses to “The disabled access friendly world blog challenge: Creature Discomforts”

  1. annforeman Wednesday 29 June 2011 at 18:01 #

    Hi Dennis,

    Just posted a link to this on the TeachingEnglish facebook page if you’d like to check for comments.

    Please feel free to post there when you have anything you’d like to share.



    • David Petrie Wednesday 29 June 2011 at 18:45 #

      Hi Ann,
      I don’t know who Dennis is – my name’s David Petrie! But thank you for re-posting!

      All the best.


  1. Blog Challenge-A Disabled-Access Friendly world: Lessons for the ELT classroom | Marisa Constantinides - TEFL Matters - Thursday 30 June 2011

    […] The Disabled-Access Friendly Blog: Creature DIscomforts – contributed by David Petrie,@teflgeek on Twitter addthis_url = ''; addthis_title = 'Blog+Challenge-A+Disabled-Access+Friendly+world%3A+Lessons+for+the+ELT+classroom'; addthis_pub = ''; Leave a Comment Comment RSS  Tagged Business English, Decision Making, disabilities, Literature, Negotiation, Poetry, Speaking Previous: Reporting after IATEFL Brighton Next: From Critical Pedagogy to Disabled Pedagogy Create a free edublog to get your own comment avatar (and more!) […]

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