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:
- Engage in activities that meet community needs.(PSL.GOV.20)
- Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. (SL.11-12.1)
- Identify an issue related to the denial of civil rights to people with disabilities and explain how government or non-government organizations helped to extend civil rights or opportunities for participation to that group. (PSL.GOV.17)