Ben O’Dea will happily blend in with a sea of students, schools and businesses dressed in orange today as part of Wear Orange for One and All day.RENEE THOMPSON May 9, 2014 3:00am
Ben O’Dea will happily blend in with a sea of students, schools and businesses dressed in orange today as part of Wear Orange for One and All day.
Blending in, in a more general sense, is something the seven-year-old, who has Down syndrome, and his family are grateful to the One and All Campaspe Inclusion Project for.
The program works with schools and the community to get people to see past disability and accept people for who they are.
It has changed the life of each member of the O’Dea family
Ben’s mum, Prue, said one of her concerns had always been that Lauren would get bullied or teased at her school for having a brother with a disability.
She said the project’s co-ordinator Jacqui Davies’ work with One and All had done a lot to alleviate her concern this would happen.
‘‘Lauren’s class at Moama Grammar has taken part in dancing classes at the Echuca Specialist School,’’ she said.
‘‘Ben’s class has attended Moama Grammar for Christmas craft and on Friday they will take part in sport activities at Moama Grammar as part of Wear Orange for One and All.’’
She said such interactions had resulted in ‘‘really positive feedback’’ so far from parents of Lauren’s classmates.
‘‘Being exposed to kids with disabilities has started discussions at home with other siblings and family members,’’ she said.
Ben’s father David said one Moama Grammar student had even stood up in front of the Echcua Specialist School council to tell them what it meant to him to have the inclusion day and meet kids from the specialist school.
Mr O’Dea said it was thanks to the hard work of people like Miss Davies that such a turnaround in attitudes toward disability was possible.
‘‘The schoolyard’s different from what it was like in my school days,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s because of things like Jacqui’s program that that is the case.
‘‘It’s a great relief to families like mine.’’
Mrs O’Dea said having a child with a disability made her realise how narrow-minded some of the attitudes towards disability could be.
‘‘I want my kids and their friends to grow up experiencing the benefits, blessings and rewards of knowing someone with a disability
‘‘The One and All Program allows this to happen.’’
The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting damaging winds across the region tonight.
The Australian Waterski Show Team, consisting of 18 skiers from the local area placed second in a nail biting finish at the World Championships held last week in Wisconsin, USA.
Billed as ‘Fabulous Flowers and Fine Food’, Tatura’s Anglican Church Parish had a successful fundraiser on Thursday, September 4.
Sitting Member for Rodney Paul Weller is now number four on the National Party ticket to contest northern Victoria for the legislative council.
Staff and patients at Rochester and Elmore District Health Service showed of their true blue side.
Ky kids celebrate dad
Annual show wows the crowd.
The Finley Football & Netball Club added a 2014 premiership to it's cabinet thanks to a stunning display from its C-Reserve netballers.
Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program is taking enrolments for the 2015 program.
Berrigan Shire councillors discuss a poor financial outlook, and potentially, higher rates and less services for ratepayers.
Rams premiership stars Tim Holobowksi and Jack Lloyd head a list of five new recruits at the club.
The only consistent thing about frost damage in crops was its random nature, a cropping expert told his field day audience at Finley last Friday.
Major Collision Investigation Unit are on their way to Benalla where the body of a woman was found in Gray St.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.