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EEX 4242-W061

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UCF Best Buddies:

UCF Best Buddies Monica Larkin mlarkin@knights.ucf.edu April 10, 2011 EEX 4242-0W61

UCF Best Buddies:

UCF Best Buddies UCF Chapter founded in Fall semester of 1992. Unique comparatively because most buddies are on campus . allows stronger relationships to build more rapidly Best Buddies UCF pairs people with intellectual disabilities in one-to-one friendships with UCF students. The UCF Chapter strives to enhance the lives of people with intellectual disabilities by providing them the opportunity to participate in some of the same social activities of college students.

Demographics:

Demographics College ages buddies All races and ranges of disabilities Mental physical unless you really need to know the buddy’s exceptionality for medical/safety purposes you don’t find out your buddies disability. more important to know the person rather than their disability Both included

I.D.E.A.:

I.D.E.A. students must be provided a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) that prepares them for further education, employment and independent living Best Buddies provides these college students with special needs someone to help them begin live more independently and gain social experiences.

Taste of Friendship:

Taste of Friendship January 31 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Pegasus Ballroom Awareness for Best Buddies UCF Time for friendship and relaxation among the students. Free Food Preparation time: 4 hours Duration 3 hours 34 buddies attended

Taste of Friendship:

Taste of Friendship Free Event with FREE FOOD Even though there was no entrance fee, students generously donated over $500 I took a shift at the raffle table and got to sit with the AWESOME Whitney The rest of them time I danced with the other buddies!

The “R” Word:

The “R” Word In 2009 Special Olympics called for a National Day of Awareness to stop the use of “retarded” http://www.r-word.org/Default.aspx We held our own version of this “Spread the Word, End the Word” campaign It was Tuesday, March 31 in BA 201 Open forum Opportunity for UCF students to learn the impact words have on those with and without intellectual disabilities Raising awareness: 2 hours in front of student union; 2 hours walking around campus handing out flyers Meeting time: 3 hours 2 buddies attended the meeting to express how the “R” word has personally effected them

Whitney:

Miss. Whitney is my friend Nicole’s buddy. Nicole Hoag was the Vice President of UCF Best Buddies Last year before she entered graduate school here. Whitney has been her buddy for the past 4 years Whitney works at Publix, has a boyfriend named Sam and is taking an algebra class to go towards her certificate Whitney

Slide 9:

One on One math tutoring with Whitney 1 hour once a week for 5 weeks Lunch dates and movie nights Really got to know her as a person Not sure what disability she has Its more important to know her for who she is than for the disability that she has. Perspective mind set conceptual difficulties that people with learning disabilities face. One on One with Whitney

Perception of Differences:

Perception of Differences I really enjoyed this experience I was a little nervous for my first experience with a large group of special needs students at the Taste of Friendship I was scared to look at them and make them feel like I was staring at them Wasn’t sure at what intellectual level I should speak to them; like children or adults I just decided to follow the lead of the full functioning students I saw interacting with the buddies Eric doing an AWESOME Michael Jackson impersonation!

After This Experience:

After This Experience I feel a lot more comfortable around people with special needs I know I can just talk to them at their age level and treat them just like I’d treat any of my other friends I think the most impactful experience was working with Whitney one on one I really got to know her and see how her disabilities effected her cognitive functions Very interesting to have taught the same information to 14 year olds in the fall and then teach algebra to an intellectually disabled 22 year and see the differences in comprehension and retention.

Course Connection:

Course Connection Did Teachers in Action for EEX 4242 Assistive Technology Working with Best Buddies allowed me to see many different types of assistive technology in action. A lot of remote wheel chairs Computer translators Instructional Strategies We were provided with a website Strategy Tools This helped me give Whitney study tools and idea’s to chunk materials together, or spread material out with connections that were easily formed Autism Only got minimal experience with autistic students Mainly observed Buddies with Autism interact with other buddies

Civic Engagement:

Civic Engagement Spreading the Word, End the Word really opened my eyes to how much people need to be made aware of the impact they have on those around them I have always loved volunteering I have been volunteering since high school Have seen the impact I have on those around me I would love to continue working with Best Buddies I would definitely encourage students, friends and teachers to embrace service learning! I think it is such a good experience for young people Helps put perspective on their own situations

Final Thoughts:

Final Thoughts I loved and thoroughly enjoyed this experience! I want to continue working with Best Buddies UCF Hope to start a Best Buddies Program in the High School I teach at in the future.

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