Understanding Our Differences

Understanding Our Differences (UOD) is a nonprofit organization providing a disability awareness program for all elementary school children in grades 3-5 in the Newton Public Schools. The units presented are:

  • 3rd grade – Blindness/Low Vision and Deafness/Hard of Hearing
  • 4th grade - Chronic Medical Conditions and Learning Disabilities
  • 5th grade - Autism, Intellectual Disabilities, and Physical Disabilities

We depend on the involvement of parents, caregivers, and community members to coordinate and present the UOD program. Underwood currently needs grade level school coordinators for grades 3, 4 and 5, and unit volunteers. Coordinators are usually parent volunteers who organize the program units, recruits unit volunteers, and present the units for a specific grade. It often works really well for parents to share this role as co-coordinators. Unit Volunteers help lead hands on activities with small groups of students during a program unit presentation.  Volunteering with UOD is a great opportunity to be in the classroom and work directly with teachers and students.

There is no specific background necessary as we provide all training, online materials, and program support to volunteers to ensure success. For more information and to get involved, please contact the Understanding Our Differences Program Director, Jenni Acosta, at jacosta@understandingourdifferences.org or sign up on the website. Training workshops are also available online here.

If you have questions or would like to talk further about the program before volunteering, you can contact the Underwood PTO: underwoodpto@gmail.com.