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A day without sight has opened the eyes of pupils at Kaikorai Valley College to what it is like living with a disability.
The pupils in teacher Matt Hooper’s year 7 class have so far raised more than $1000 for charity as part of the exercise, which involved wearing ear plugs on one day, a blindfold the next and tying one arm behind their backs on the last day.
Mr Hooper said he came up with the idea as a way of helping pupils better understand what it was like living with a disability. The exercise was a highlight of the year for pupils, who had enthusiastically raised money from friends and family.
"It’s been awesome."
Once the novelty wore off for pupils, they were given an insight into some of the challenges of living with disabilities.
Everyday tasks suddenly become difficult and pupils bumped into each other when blindfolded and struggled to lip-read when wearing ear plugs.
Cassidy Renton said lip-reading was hard for everyone.
"My partner asked ‘do you want tea and coffee?’ and I wrote ‘it’s a lovely afternoon’."
"For my partner’s last sentence, I wrote ‘I’m going to die’.
"I had no idea what he was saying."
PE was especially difficult, as wearing ear plugs made it hard to follow Mr Hooper’s instructions.
The money the pupils raise will go towards IHC, the Blind Foundation, Deaf Aotearoa, CCT and the school’s Brathwaite Centre, which supports pupils with special needs.
The public can donate by visiting https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/hooper.