Home » Disability Awareness Programming
boy practicing sign language

Disability Awareness Programming

Engage your students, congregants, or community in compelling experiential disability awareness programming that inspires them to become ambassadors for inclusion. 

Understanding Our Differences

Gateways has partnered with Understanding Our Differences (UOD) to implement its grade 3–5 curriculum in Jewish day schools and congregational schools. The program focuses on seven different disabilities, each a separate unit for exploration and discussion. For each of these topic areas, students engage in a Jewish text study, hear a presentation, and meet a guest speaker with the specific disability being discussed.

Gateways will be leasing the Understanding our Differences curriculum for the 2021-2022 school year and facilitating the program in local Boston area schools as well as some schools outside of Boston.

Program Units

The program consists of seven units that are covered in third through fifth grade:

  • 3rd Grade: Blindness and Low Vision; Deafness and Hard of Hearing
  • 4th Grade: Learning Disabilities; Physical Disabilities
  • 5th Grade: Cognitive Disabilities; Autism Spectrum Disorders; Chronic Medical Conditions (Asthma, Allergies, Diabetes)

*Note – some smaller schools may choose to offer one unit across multiple grade levels in one session.

Each unit consists of:

  • Pre and post unit activities that are facilitated by the classroom teachers,
  • A virtual presentation (webinar style) about the disability (20-30 minutes), and
  • A speaker with the disability who talks virtually to students about what it was like growing up with and living with the disability, followed by a Q&A with the students (30-45 minutes).

Gateways has developed Jewish material to accompany each unit, including text sources and stories related to each disability that is shared and discussed during the virtual presentation.

Bringing the Program to Your School

Program Costs

  • Schools can participate in all seven units for $3,600 per school, within the dates and times offered by Gateways
  • Schools can choose one or more units for $600 per unit per school, within the dates and times offered by Gateways
  • If the scheduled times do not work for your school and you would like to do your own scheduled day and time, the per unit cost is $1200


Interested in having Gateways bring Understanding Our Differences to your school? Contact Sharon Goldstein, Gateways’ Director of Day School Programs.

If you’re interested in learning more about the organization, you can visit the Understanding Our Differences website!