By Rhea M. Matar
Rhea is a Special Education Teacher in Chicago, striving to make education meaningful and accessible to Elementary and High School age students with severe and profound disabilities and medical fragility. She collaborates with school staff, nursing, therapy, parents and administrators to create a dynamic learning environment that includes field trips, sensory experiences, an adapted theater program and summer school for her sweet students.
Before teaching, Rhea spent two years in a L'Arche community in Syracuse, NY where she lived with 4 adults with disabilities (known as core members) and other staff (known as assistants). She was deeply influenced by being in community with the core members and learned extensively about the joys and sufferings that come from living in relationship with others, especially those marginalized by society. Rhea is an avid biker, baker, tree enthusiast and reader of many books, most especially memoirs and the writings of Jean Vanier- the founder of the L'Arche communities.
About the Game
My student's and friends with disabilities have been my greatest and most patient teachers. I am so excited to share what I have learned by developing a game that encourages those of us "without disabilities" to look deeper at human dignity, suffering, relationship, quality care and most importantly, how better to recognize and delight in the beauty and gifts that live in each and every person.
Picture of myself and a dear friend with a disability who I met when I was 16 - he is the reason I became a Special Education teacher.