Skip To Main Content

ADA Club makes Ferndale High School more welcoming for students of all abilities

When a group of Ferndale High School students launched the Advocates of Disability Awareness (ADA) Club last school year, they hoped to combat misconceptions about people with disabilities within the school. They’re still meeting weekly to help make FHS a place of belonging for students and staff of all abilities. 

“I think it’s pretty important, because some people think of people with disabilities as ‘others,’ and not just peers or friends,” said sophomore James Martinson. 

This month is a busy month for the ADA Club, according to club leader Aaron Guerra, a junior at FHS. They’re doing their second annual “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign, asking their peers to stop using slurs. Last year, the club asked students to sign a poster and pledge not to use the “R-word,” and many students did just that. 

“We’re trying to spread awareness, because there are other words you can use that aren’t bad,” Guerra said.  

“I hear kids all the time just say it casually, and I feel like a lot of kids don’t know the harmful connotation behind it and what it really means,” added junior Peter Blair. “Spread the Word to End the Word spreads information about the history behind the word, and why it’s harmful.” 

You can read more information about Spread The Word at  

March is also Disability Awareness Month, so the ADA Club is creating a video about disabilities. The video will hopefully be shown during Eagle Time later this spring, either this month or in April for Autism Acceptance Month. 

“There’s a lot of misconceptions that can be harmful,” said Blair. “Clubs like this can teach kids who maybe don’t know what they were saying or doing was ableist.” 

Jacob Brittle, an FHS science teacher and co-advisor for the club, said he’s proud of the students for advocating for themselves and educating their peers. 

“The whole foundation of the club is promoting inclusion and supporting the district motto of ‘You Belong,’” he said. It celebrates people’s differences instead of seeing them as negatives – they’re unique parts of people.”