Fall 2005 
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  In This Issue
Equal Treatment, Equal Access: Raising Awareness about People with Disabilities and Their Struggle for Equal Rights
The 2004 Reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and the more recently celebrated fifteenth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), together offer a special opportunity to underscore recent advances toward the full inclusion of people with disabilities into mainstream schools and society, and to remember the efforts of disability rights advocates to win these legislative victories. The Fall 2005 issue of Curriculum Connections promotes awareness of various forms of disability, challenges myths and stereotypes about people with disabilities and fosters an understanding of the historical legacy of bias and discrimination against people with disabilities that led to the rise of the disability rights movement.   More...


  Lesson Plans
Lesson 1: Getting to Know People with Physical Disabilities (Grades K - 2)
Students are introduced to the term disability, and come to understand and recognize the International Symbol of Access for People with Disabilities. Through children’s literature and personal connection with people who have a physical disability, students come to appreciate the capacity of people with disabilities to engage in activities that all people enjoy. More…

Lesson 2: Experiencing Hearing Disability Through Music (Grades 2 – 4)
Through concrete activities such as using sign language and experiencing music by means of sound vibration, students are introduced to the concept of disability by exploring the everyday experiences of people who have a hearing disability. More…

Lesson 3: Seeing the World Through the Hands of People with a Visual Disability (Grades 4 – 6)
By engaging in hands-on exercises such as transcribing Braille and learning about the achievements of disability activists like Helen Keller, students are challenged to rethink assumptions about the abilities of people with visual disabilities. Students are also asked to consider issues of accessibility by noting the types of handicaps, or barriers in the environment, that may limit opportunities for people with disabilities in general. More…

Lesson 4: Understanding Learning Differences (Grades 6 – 9)
Through simple brain research, articles, experiential exercises and personal testimony, students learn the facts about learning differences, and increase empathy for peers with learning disabilities. The lesson concludes with an exploration of multiple intelligence theory in order to encourage an appreciation for brain diversity, and a brief look at prominent historical and contemporary figures with learning differences. More…

Lesson 5: History of the Disability Rights Movement (Grades 10 – 12)
Students examine how past prejudicial attitudes and the social exclusion of people with disabilities led to the rise of a nationwide, grassroots movement for the recognition of equal rights, equal access and equal treatment of people with disabilities. Students also learn about current issues concerning the disability community, and work in concert with disability advocates to take action on present-day issues of disability rights. More…

  Additional Resources
The lesson plans above are accompanied by several resources for students and educators, including a glossary of disability terms, a guide to disability rights laws, a directory of national disability organizations, communication guidelines on disability, a list of famous people with disabilities, tools to assess children’s literature on disability and to assess school environments for full inclusion of people with disabilities, and a video clip of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, 1990. More…



  • ADL Education Home Page
  • A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute Recommended Multicultural and Anti-Bias Books for Children
  • A CLASSROOM OF DIFFERENCE Programs and Resources
  • ADL ONLINE CATALOG: RESOURCES FOR CLASSROOM AND COMMUNITY
  • THE MILLER EARLY CHILDHOOD INITIATIVE of A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute
  • Holocaust Awareness and Remembrance® Institute
  • Combating Anti-Semitism

    The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is one of the nation's premier human relations and civil rights agencies, working to combat anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry.
    ADL's A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute is a leading provider of anti-bias and diversity education training programs and resources.
    A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute