Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Martin Luther King Jr. Day “Acts of Kindness” Orientation and Mobility Activities

“Wow!”, my student said as she received a letter back from the Children’s Hospital. We had made cards for some of the children in our local Children’s Hospital. They were simple cards, but filled with love. Each of our students in our after Thank you cardsschool yoga program had made a card out of colored heavy paper and 3D stickers. During an Orientation and Mobility lesson, my student and I researched the address of the hospital using her new iPad. During the next lesson, we took the cards we had made to the Children’s Hospital. The nurses at the hospital then delivered the cards and helped the children write a note back to us. 

We did this simple project to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It was an easy project to do, incorporated many Orientation and Mobility Skills, and helped my student see the importance of participating in Acts of Kindness.   Since then, I have had the majority of my students participate in some sort of Acts of Kindness project to honor the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is known for spreading the word of peace and kindness for all people. He believed that every person deserves to be seen as a whole, individual person. 

As a prominent spokesperson during the Civil Rights movement, Dr. King routinely participated in acts of kindness for all people. In honor of Dr. King’s gentle but profound kindness, my students and I often participate in at least one “Acts of Kindness” activity in January. These activities can be simple one lesson classes or they can take multiple class periods and lead up to a culminating event at the end of the month. 

Combining Orientation and Mobility lessons with character building Acts of Kindness allows my students to perform our O&M tasks with meaning and purpose. There truly is no better way to get them to buy in to the need for travel than to do it for a good reason! 

 “The time is always right to do the right thing”, Dr. King once said. You are welcome to honor Dr. King at any time during the year. If you do not have time or do not come across this article exactly in January, take his lead and practice kindness any time of the year. 

Martin Luther King Acts of Kindness Orientation and Mobility Activities

 

  1. Write gratitude cards and deliver them to teachers throughout the school. 

For this activity, have your student write their favorite teachers a thank you card. This can be done in any literacy medium including using an augmented communication switch or an app on a device. The student will then take the cards to the teachers in their school. 

Incorporating Orientation and Mobility:

  • Have the student practice their cane skills and travel skills while traveling. 
  • Have the student practice both familiar and unfamiliar routes while traveling. 
  • If possible, use a map of the school to encourage map reading skills.
  • Have the student carry the cards in an over the shoulder bag so they can use their cane while they travel. 

 

  1. Pack items needed for people in shelters. Deliver them to the shelter.

    Toiletry kit

Gather items for people in need and deliver them to your local homeless shelter. Popular items that you can gather at your local dollar store or Walmart include toothpaste, toothbrush, socks, food bar, baggies. 

Amazon sells a bulk case of basic hygiene and toiletry kits for $25

Incorporating Orientation and Mobility:

  • Plan a trip to the local store to pick up items for the care bags.
  • Travel to the local store by public transportation (i.e. city bus, paratransit, or shared ride service).
  • Have the student solicit assistance from the store personnel to locate and pay for the items.
  • Have your student call the shelter and ask their policies for delivering care bags.
  • Use your city’s address system to determine route to the shelter. Discuss the location of the shelter in relation to the city grid.
  • Take public transportation to your local shelter (i.e. city bus, paratransit, or shared ride service).
  • While en route, use Google Maps or other GPS app (e.g. BlindSquare, Waze, Lazarillo), to listen to the route. 

 

  1. Deliver care packages to children at a hospital.

Have your student(s) create care packages for children who are in the hospital. According to our local hospital, children in the hospital long term enjoy arts and crafts items, books, stuffed animals. You can then deliver the care packages to the hospital to be given to the children. 

Call your hospital before you arrange this project to ensure that you bring the items that the children at your local hospital are in need of. Google map on smartphone in front of emergency room of hospital

Incorporating Orientation and Mobility:

  • Plan a trip to the local store to pick up items for the care bags. 
  • Travel to the local store by public transportation (i.e. city bus, paratransit, or shared ride service). 
  • Have the student solicit assistance from the store personnel to locate and pay for the items.
  • Have your student call the hospital and make arrangements for delivery. 
  • Use your city’s address system to determine route to the hospital. Discuss the location of the hospital in relation to your location.
  • While en route, use Google Maps or other GPS app (e.g. BlindSquareWazeLazarillo), to listen to the route. 

 

If you are a classroom teacher or TVI and spend a lot of time with your student, You can expand on these ideas by including the 100 Acts of Kindness or an activity from Do Something.Org

How are you going to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year? The actual holiday happens here in the United States on Monday, January 21, 2019. Remember, you can celebrate kindness any day of the year. 

Collage of Martin Luther King Jr. day Acts of Kindness
Posted on January 3, 2019
Updated on: January 8, 2019