All of us at Disabled Access Friendly would like to express our sincere appreciation to IWOG for their support of our work. This has been invaluable in enabling us to further our campaign to raise awareness about issues affecting people with mobility disability through the teaching of English as a foreign/second language. It is due to your sensitivity to these issues and generosity that we have been able to maintain active progress in our mission in a number of ways.
Your donation in 2013 went a long way towards paying for the stationery, photocopying and the printing of banners and posters required for our presentations at The Association of State School Teachers of Northern Greece (E.K.A.D.E.V.E.) ‘Educational Seminar for Primary and Secondary School Teachers’ in February, at the TESOL Macedonia-Thrace, N. Greece 20th Annual International Convention in March, at the “Equal Access to the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki for Everybody” conference in the framework of the DARe-learning project in Thessaloniki in May, at the International Publishers Exhibitions in Thessaloniki and Athens in April and August, the TESOL Greece Young Learners, Drama/Literature Start of the Year Symposium in Athens in September, the TESOL Greece 2nd Professional Development Event in W. Greece in Preveza and the TESOL Macedonia-Thrace N. Greece Welcome Back Event in Thessaloniki in October, and the ‘Responses to the lingua franca role of English’ conference organised in Thessaloniki by the South-East European Research Centre in November.
By covering the web-hosting costs, your donation has also ensured that teachers of English as a foreign/second language can continue to access our website and use our mobility disability-specific teaching materials. Currently, our website receives 3,753 visitors per month from 94 countries with an encouraging 12,171 page hits. We are constantly striving to enrich this bank of teaching materials as well as regularly contributing articles to publications such as the TESOL Macedonia-Thrace, N. Greece Newsletter, Modern English Teacher, ELT News and SEETA (South Eastern Europe Teachers' Associations) News to name a few.
Other recent activities include our collaboration with ELT Teacher 2 Writer and Burlington Books in the form of a worksheet writing competition on the subject of mobility disability to further raise awareness, and we are also working together with PALSO (Panhellenic Association of Language School Owners) - having been inspired by you - to collect plastic bottle tops to raise money for the purchase of mobility aids (wheelchairs, Zimmer frames etc) for those in need.
Having used a selection of our website teaching materials and inspired by one of her senior classes to deliver a presentation on mobility disability, Maria Kazakou, a Language School owner in Thessaloniki, wrote to us saying, ‘Their parents and I were deeply moved watching those kids expressing themselves in a foreign language and on such an important issue!’ Such comments spur us on.
A very good piece of news is that the teaching activities provided free for download on our site have recently been approved by the Institute of Educational Policy, Hellenic Ministry of Education and Religion for use in schools (ref. 36/21-10-2013). This reflects on the quality of our work.
Finally, we would like to especially thank Melissa Best for administering your donation this past year. It was always very easy and pleasant to work with Melissa and she is doing an excellent job!
We are proud that our work, based in Thessaloniki, is having such an impact and thank you once again for all the support you, another Thessaloniki based organization, has shown us.
For the Disabled Access Friendly team.