BALLS (Building Advocacy and Learning Leadership Skills) wrapped up its 6th round of classes during the fall at Hellgate High School. We have plans to go to Seeley Lake High as well as Frenchtown High in the spring of 2010.
Also, as part of the services we provide for schools, we have developed a disability history and culture presentation that we offer to “mainstream” history/government classes in the school. It is our hope that the students will see that disability history is an important part of American History. We have given this presentation at Florence, Big Sky and Alberton high schools and have been invited back to all of them.
At our November YODA (Youth Opening Doors through Advocacy) meeting we discussed the two Para-educators that have been accused of physically abusing students with disabilities in Great Falls. A video of that discussion and the reactions of the members is on the Summit website and on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKBV-wSAE7c. For our December meeting, YODA had a Christmas gathering with food, great games, and a giant singing Santa that made Darren cry! All in all, 2009 was a great year for the YODA group and we plan on making 2010 an even better one!!