Last Wednesday began the 2015-2016 Building bridges presentations. We visit elementary schools and expose the kindergarten and first graders about people with disabilities. The program is funded by the County and coordinated by a long-time advocate for people with disabilities, Ana Masopust. She and a few others, myself and Bailey included, talk about disabilities and give the kids Q & A time, which is always entertaining and inspiring. We use props in the form of puppets with disabilities. A boy named Renaldo who is blind, a boy named Mike Reilly who uses a wheelchair and other puppets to help kids connect with what we are talking about without feeling uncomfortable. I usually talk to the kindergarten kids and another woman with a guide dog talks to the first graders on another day. We cover how we went blind, how we do things, and the difference between a guide dog and a white cane. It’s hard for the young ones to ask questions rather than to make statements, which I find very cute. I’ve heard about grandmothers and grandfathers who are visually impaired, which of them uses a walker, a wheel chair, and other mobility devices. I’ve heard about pet dogs, what their pets look like and how the dog behaves or misbehaves.
Case in point, the second group was much more restless, it nearing the end of the day. One of the last questions was a boy who wanted to know, “How does the dog know how to pick out the best pastry?”
Now, that one got me and the other adults laughing. I answered him truthfully, that I pick out the pastry and my dog isn’t allowed to lead me to the food unless it’s up on a table.
But, imagine if I did want to add in a food command, like at a buffet. I think I’d make the command, Bailey, find the Cannoli,”