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  • Writer's pictureTara Singh

Accessibility at Pietro Vanni Middle School

I went to the Pietro Vanni middle school, where I tutor a class every Friday. At Pietro Vanni, there is a student who is thirteen and in a wheelchair. I interviewed her, her classmates and the director of inclusion, Mrs. Bernardini. Since having its first wheelchair-bound student, Martina, the school has made many changes to accommodate the student's needs. The school had no previous initiative to make the school more welcoming to children with disabilities, but has worked hard to make its education as easy as possible. The school consists of two buildings. The building where Martina is located has two accessible entrances. There is a newly paved road and ramp that leads directly into one of the classrooms (but it is no longer his classroom), and there is an entrance to the rear of the building with a ramp.

I asked Martina and Signora Bernardini how Martina navigates the school. The teachers have to assist Martina in using the bathroom and in moving her around the class since she is in a manual wheelchair. Martina said she received a lot of help from her classmates and teachers. I asked if she felt she was being treated differently by her peers, and she said no. I also asked some of her classmates if they thought she was treated differently, and they confidently said no (but in front of their teachers and Martina).

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