A month ago, I was offered a once in a lifetime opportunity to teach special needs adults. In 2009, Pamela Lyndsay and DeAnna Pursai the first classes for the College of Adaptive Arts began. Their mission is to education Adults with disabilities in the arts. At College of Adaptive Arts you can take a class in theatre, music, broadcasting or even writing.
Miss Lyndsay created CAA after learning that her daughter had aspergers disease. A dancer and actress herself, Miss Lyndsay realized that there was a lack of art classes for adults with disabilities.
I had such an amazing experience at the radio/podcasting workshop that I did. A bunch of my students came to my radio station and I showed them how to interview each other and they learned about the correct microphone volume and how to engineer a show.
I would like to talk about the three lessons that I learned from teaching these stunning adults.
1. We all have disabilities
We all have a handicap. Every single person in this world has a handicap. Maybe your handicap is that you are in a bad relationship or maybe you have a fear of living your dreams. The great thing with Adults who have disabilities is that we can catch it soon and work with them. You see most of your disabilities are internal; nobody can see them except you. Have you ever asked yourself why you are in a bad relationship over and over again? Have you asked yourself why you are never happy? Adults with disabilities don't have to ask these questions over and over again because they work on themselves; they push themselves and really work on the inside.
2. We are all the same
One of the most interesting aspects of teaching adults with disabilities is that they are just like us. They have the same emotions that we do. If you treat them normal they will act normal, but if you treat them like they are below you they will react. Aren't we like this? Don't have all want to be accepted in this world? Some of us go through lengths to try and be accepted. Try accepting yourself first. The students at CAA are taught to accept themselves first and thus they in turn will be excepted by society.
3. Art education is important
We always talk about education and we all talk about the importance of education, but rarely do we talk about the impact that creativity and arts education brings students. Seeing the students eyes light up when they learn acting or when they learn to play a guitar or when they learn to do their own radio show is priceless. At College of Creative Arts we are able to see upfront the impact that the arts has on adults with disabilities.
If you know of an adult that has disabilities I recommend that you come to the College of Adaptive Arts. The college is located in San Jose, CA but, we can also Skype your child in to attend courses. There is a student that does dance classes through Skype.
You can reach the College of Adaptive Arts at: www.collegeofadaptivearts.org for more information.
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