National Simultaneous Story Time came to life for Western Sydney children with sensory disabilities last week, from the comfort of their own homes, using videoconferencing technology.
The children joined over Zoom for story time, dance, and craft as Sarah, Karen, Tammy, and Lauren from RIDBC Western Sydney led a combined activity based on this year’s Story Time book, Lucinda Gifford’s Whitney and Britney Chicken Divas.
The children are deaf or hard of hearing, blind or have low vision*. The team at RIDBC Western Sydney organised tactile objects for the children with vision impairment to bring the story to life — faux fur to represent the fox, feathers for the chickens and sequined material. The session also included Auslan, Vietnamese, and Arabic interpreters for the children and families who required them.
Accessible story time
With over a million children taking part in National Simultaneous Story Time this year, it is a hugely popular event which celebrates the beauty of storytelling and the educational outcomes of literacy.
This year’s event was a little bit different as we took the necessary physical distancing precautions. But it didn’t stop the fun for the RIDBC children in Western Sydney.
After accessible story time, it was time to dance to everybody’s favourites – the chicken dance and Old Macdonald. A YouTube version with a black background and highly contrasting images made the dance suitable for children with Vision Impairment.
The day was wrapped up with craft time – the children made beautiful chickens that Old Macdonald himself would be proud of (the families received a craft pack in advance).
A day of fun for the children of RIDBC in Western Sydney, captivated by the story of our favourite two divas – Whitney and Britney.
We can’t wait to see what’s in store next year for National Simultaneous Story Time.
*The children and their families take part in RIDBC’s early intervention program.