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.’’
Shepparton police are investigating the theft of an expensive Italian-made Pinarello cycle from inside a house during the weekend.
The Yarrawonga Chronicle and Travel and Cruise Yarrawonga are offering shoppers a chance to win an incredible cruise package this summer.
Last week Victorian Collections passed a major milestone, with the 50000th historical object record from the state’s heritage collections uploaded to the site.
Hellrazor has crossed first to win the 2014 Barrie Beehag event on Saturday.
Rochester Secondary College student Georgia Mundie will perform at an Equitana exhibition in Melbourne.
Fourteen parties and 37 candidates will contest the Northern Victoria Region for the Victorian upper house at the November 29 election, with the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) claiming the top billing on the ballot paper.
Playgroup of the Month for November.
Andrew Richardson and Matt Jackson have been appointed co-coaches of Finley's senior football side.
Two new Neighbourhood Safer Places for the Pyalong and Tooborac communities have been announced.
Runners from the Sri Chinmoy Peace Oneness-Home Peace Run visit local students to share message of goodwill.
Deniliquin’s Luke Harrington is hoping to start a horse riding club for people with a disability.
South African course builder Brian Lavery, now based in Melbourne, set a testing track for the Hunter Group World Cup Showjumping Qualifier on Saturday that brought some of the sport’s big names undone.
Scott Upston had a decorated career as a paralympic coach before moving to Benalla this year.
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.