INCLUSIVE COMMUNITIES: Raising Awareness About the Abilities of People with Disabilities
The public perception of people with disabilities changed dramatically over the course of American history. In the 19th century, people with disabilities were considered unable to contribute to society and often forced to enter institutions where many spent their entire lives. During the first half of the 20th century, America experienced an increase of disabled veterans following World War II. The increased visibility of people with special needs resulted in renewed efforts to rehabilitate and provide vocational training for them so that they could become self-sufficient. Since the 1960s, disability rights advocates have linked their cause to the broader civil rights movement seeking equal opportunity for all people with special needs. Federal legislation in the 1970s and 1990s helped millions of Americans with disabilities lead more independent lives. Although great strides have been made, people with special needs still face bias, harmful stereotypes, and irrational fears that result in their social and economic oppression. This unit challenges students to raise awareness about the abilities of people with disabilities in an attempt to build a more inclusive community.
The learning targets for this unit are:
- Compare the rights afforded to people with special needs in the United States today with the rights they had in the 19th and 20th century and assess how successful government has been in broadening their opportunities for participation.
- Create a simulation to address the issue of discrimination against people with special needs and to engage with others to advocate for the expansion of the rights of this group.
- Engage in activities that meet community needs.
- Demonstrate what you have accomplished, what you have learned, and the impact of your work in a public setting.
- Read to infer/interpret and cite text evidence.
- Analyze how the author’s choice of words, text structure, and point of view shape the meaning, tone & style of a text.
- Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
- Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.