Mrs. Evans held up her hands at the front of the room. All of the children stopped talking and sat quietly in their seats.
"Good morning, class," she greeted her students. "We are going to try an experiment this morning. During this next week, we are going to be learning about what it means to be disabled. You are going to learn what it is like to be disabled for just this morning."
Several of the children began to mutter and looked around at the others. Mrs. Evans held up her hands again.
"This is nothing to be worried about, and you may think of it more like a game. I will divide the class into groups of three. In each group, one of you will wear a blind fold, one will wear ear plugs, and one will have his or her mouth covered," she said. "Now let's rearrange the room."
The desks were moved around, and Mrs. Evans called off the names for each group. Then she chose who would wear the blindfold, the ear plugs, and the mouth gag.
"The first thing we will do is an obstacle course for our 'blind' students," said Mrs. Evans. "I will put you at the starting place, and you must find your way to the end of the course. You may use your hands, other senses, and a yardstick as a cane. Everyone else must be quiet." She looked sternly at the class to make sure they understood.
Mrs. Evans chose one of the boys, Kevin, to go first. She made sure that the blind fold was on properly and told him to start.
Kevin took three steps before he bumped into a desk. After that, he held his arms out in front of him. It took several minutes for the boy to feel his way to the end. He was relieved when he was finally able to remove the blindfold.