That Time a First-Grader’s Fart Became a Hilarious Teachable Moment in Accessibility

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There’s nothing like a fart to set kids off in a fit of giggles, but for classroom filled with children who are deaf and hard-of-hearing, it resulted in a profoundly teachable moment about accessibility.

Anna Trupiano is a first-grade teacher at Kendall Demonstration Elementary School in Washington, D.C.—a school that serves deaf, hard-of-hearing, and hearing students from birth through eighth grade. She recently found herself having to explain the science of sound behind passing gas when one six-year-old deaf student farted loudly in class. Trupiano was left to explain why it was that so many students were suddenly looking at them.

She shared the hilarious exchange between the students that followed on social media:

What started as something silly actually highlights an important issue. “I know it started with farts, but the real issue is that many of my students aren’t able to learn about these things at home or from their peers because they don’t have the same linguistic access,” she told GOOD.

“So many of my students don’t have families who can sign well enough to explain so many things it’s incredibly isolating for these kids,” she explained.

Tupiano hopes the viral story will encourage others to take interest and become more involved in the deaf community and learn to use sign language.

“I would love to see a world where my students can learn about anything from anyone they interact with during their day,” she told GOOD. “Whether that means learning about the solar system, the candy options at a store, or even farts, it would be so great for them to have that language access anywhere they go.”

—Shahrzad Warkentin

Featured photo: wooozxh via Unsplash



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