COUNT ME IN PUPPET PROGRAMME

When we arrive at the school we set up the stage and wait for the children we ask the children to sit next to the stage so that they can see the puppets, the first two puppets are Gina who has a visual impairment and cannot see she is also ethnic, the second puppet is Sally who as a physical disability and is in a wheelchair.

We discuss with the children using the puppets about Sally disability and the difficulties she has and we ask the children questions and they ask Sally about her disability and the sports she likes doing.

Gina talks about being blind and the things she likes to do especially shopping and how hard it can be for her and Sally, around access etc.

Then one of the puppeteers comes in front of the stage and talks to Gina about how she knows what colours are and what she is wearing and how she gets about, the children also ask her questions.

Then Mitch comes along he as learning difficulties and talks about the problems he has and how it is hard for him having a learning disability, he then helps Gina with her Braille and how he is trying to learn the ABC in Braille he teaches the children this and then he and Gina do an activity around playing with a ball when they cannot see which we involve a child up to help us.

Then Mitch introduces Carmen, she has epilepsy and she talks about how it affects her, what medication she has to take and how children can help her if she has an epileptic fit.

Gina leaves the stage to tell Sally’s mum that everyone is coming to her house for tea and that they are all going to play wheelchair basketball.

Mitch then introduces his new friend Ben who as ADHD and with Mitch’s help Ben talks about his behaviour and why he needs to be reassured and told what he is going to do.

Through the show the children can ask the puppets questions, which help them, understand things better.

This is followed by the Count Me In song in which all the children join in with using sign language, after this the puppets say goodbye and one of the puppeteers then show the children disability aids. We use a small wheelchair and related equipment to explain physical disabilities. One of the puppeteers who is in a wheelchair gets the children to ask her questions about her disability, which the children find very helpful, we use speculation glasses, which 10 children get to try them on, showing different types of visual impairment.

This is followed by the puppeteer taking about guide dogs and how they help people, followed by showing the children talking watches, hearing aids and then asking 10 children to come up to the stage to see if they can guess what items are in a book with just using their hands and keeping their eyes shut, after this we show the children how to do sign language.

After this we talk to the children about the show to see if they remember the puppets names there disabilities and see if they have been listening and remember what they have been taught.

After this we say goodbye.