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Educational game called Call Me CAPABLE encourages empathy
Oxnard native Carol Leish developed a
board game that plays with stereotypes and encourages empathy.
Capable" breaks barriers to disability awareness with simple,
surprising questions such as "Imagine being stared at because one of
your eyes wanders. What is your reaction?"
The game, first
published four years ago by Franklin Learning Systems, is featured in this
month's issue of "Teacher Magazine." It targets children in the
third through ninth grades.
people without disabilities how to be more empathetic and caring toward
people with disabilities," Leish, 44, said. "And it eradicates
some of the stereotypes out there."
The seed for
"Call Me Capable" sprouted in Leish's mind more than 20 years ago,
when she was a graduate student at California State University, San
Leish, whose vision
and speech were impaired in a car accident when she was 10 months old, often
got angry when fellow college students made assumptions about her
loudly or slowly or just ignored me," she said. "Sometimes they'd
think my intellect was affected, too."
When a professor spoke
about "The Talking, Feeling and Doing Game," by Richard A.
Gardner, the concept for "Call Me Capable" was born in Leish's
The game's open-ended
questions, grouped by "Emotion," "Imagination" and
"Experience," took Leish years to create.
"Some of them
deal with personal experience," Leish said recently in her Oxnard home.
"This is one I
can definitely relate to, unfortunately," she said, pulling out an
"Imagination" card. The card reads, "Imagine you have a
disability and someone asks, ‘What is wrong with you?' What would you
A fourth set of
"Challenge" cards introduces factual information about
disabilities in true, false or multiple choice quiz format.
After Leish's long
creative process, she faced a five-year search for her publisher.
persistent," Leish said. Indeed, she's made an art of "continuing
to hustle with chutzpah." That favorite phrase of Leish's could be the
title of the her autobiography; She aspires to someday write a book.
Leish is a
motivational speaker who shares her story with area schools, nonprofits and
She said using humor
and a positive attitude are key to illustrating how anyone can emphasize
"capabilities instead of disabilities."
Through her game and
lectures, Leish hopes to help people realize "We're more similar than
For more information,
contact Carol Leish at (805) 988-6160 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the Net: http://www.callmecapable.com