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Interested in learning more about learning differences and other challenges? Here is a list of books dealing with Diverse Abilities in the OIS library.

Past DAAW Programs
Lamorinda Weekly Feb 2008
Orinda News Mar 2012
Orinda News Mar 2013

Diverse Abilities Awareness Week and related activities are part of our school's Character Education Goals, which promote understanding and respect for all people, regardless of differences, challenges, special abilities, and/or disabilities. DAAW is made possible by a collaboration between OIS Administration, teachers, staff, and the OIS Parents Club.

Diverse Abilities Awareness Week (DAAW)

DAAW 2018

Diverse Abilities Awareness Week (DAAW) is an annual event at OIS and took place over the course of the school year. The goal of the program is to give students an understanding about the various abilities people have in our world, and know that regardless of the ones needs, each and every person has the ability to do anything they put their mind too.

6th Grade Activities
OIS sixth graders will learn about the various types of challenges and abilities individuals have, including differences in learning styles, auditory and visual processing, sensory integration, and physical impairments. The program begins, in October, with an assembly and interactive panel discussion. Panelists include people from different backgrounds who share their experiences and challenges with the audience.

In the spring they will engage in guided hands-on activities that allow them to experience what it might be like to live with such challenges. Often, students are comfortable enough in this environment to share their own learning styles and challenges with their classmates and teachers, leading to some great discussions. Culminating in an Open House at the school, where various community agencies come to OIS and present the various programs they provide to others. Additionally, members of BORP (Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program) wheel chair basketball team come and play against our 8th graders in a wheelchair basketball game. 


Parent Involvement in DAAW

OIS parents are encouraged to volunteer during DAAW by guiding sixth graders at various interactive stations on Tuesday and Wednesday during school. Shifts are approximately three hours long and training is provided at the beginning of each shift. Interested volunteers are also encouraged to help organize DAAW, including the Community Open House on Wednesday evening. For more information, please contact DAAW chair, Anna Tague ( Even if you cannot volunteer, please attend the Open House with your students to learn more about Diverse Abilities Awareness Week at OIS.

Open House

All are welcome to join us for **Diverse Abilities Awareness Week Open House** from 6:30 – 8:30 PM in the OIS multi-purpose room. Attendees will have the opportunity to experience hands-on activities, similar to those in which the OIS sixth graders participate during the school day. Participants may also visit informational tables hosted by organizations dedicated to supporting Bay Area residents with various challenges. In the past, our guests included:

  • Autism Family Support Project, We Care Children
  • ACTS: Augmentative Communication and Technology Services
  • BORP: Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program 
  • Canine Companions for Independence (service dogs)
  • The Friend Tree (ASM playgroups)
  • Max–Abilities (Occupational Therapy)
  • Orinda Optometry Group
  • Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center (therapeutic horseback riding)

As always, Open House will include an exciting wheelchair basketball game between OIS 8th graders and the Bay Area Outreach Recreation Program (BORP) team in the OIS Isola Gymnasium. Both teams have very talented athletes and the matchup is always a highlight of the night! 

Admission to all Open House events is free and family participation is encouraged. Children must bring adult supervision. Some OIS teachers offer students extra credit in connection with this event, and "passports” will be available at the Open House. We hope you'll join us!