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  • Conferences and Workshops
  • More Alike Than Different
  • Parent Mentoring & Support Program


  • More Alike Than Different
    More Alike Than Different is a hands-on, interactive awareness, education, sensitivity, and anti-bullying training program. Provided to typical, non-disabled peers and students in elementary and middle school, its goal is to help foster understanding of the unique needs and similarities of individuals with disabilities and special needs. In this way, it can create new friendships and learning experiences for all children, encourage children to be more sensitive and accepting, and reduce the risk of harassment, bullying, and isolation of children who appear to be different.

    At a More Alike Than Different presentation, a trained facilitator will assist typically developing children in participating in a variety of hands-on activities and game that depict what individuals with a disability might experience on a day-to-day basis. These activities include:
    • Tower of London - Experience a form of visual impairment
    • What’s All the Confusion? – Experience life with ADHD or autism
    • Mirror – Writing with one type of learning disability
    • Trying So Hard – Experience daily activities with a simulated physical impairment

    A guided group discussion, followed by a question and answer time, accompanies each activity. Afterwards, each child receives a certification of completion for participating, and each school that participates receives a set of reading and educational books on a variety of disabilities and special needs to place in the school library.

    The Family Network on Disabilities presents More Alike Than Different with the funding and support of the Manatee County School District Exceptional Student Education Department, the Florida Inclusion Network (FIN), and Manatee County Children’s Services. The program was developed by parents of children with disabilities and special needs. In 2010, More Alike Than Different served over 12,000 students in Manatee County. For more information on how to bring a More Alike Than Different presentation to your school or organization call our
    Executive Director, Mary Smith at 941-928-0682 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    I highly recommend the “More Alike than Different” Program available through the Family Network on Disabilities. Having been an Elementary School Principal in Manatee County schools for 16 years, and having used this program at my schools a number of times, I personally know what a positive impact the program has on children and their acceptance of students with disabilities. The students, the schools and the community benefit in so many ways from this program.
    Nancy Beal
    2011-2012 ESE Director, Manatee County