On this International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Dec. 3, here are resources for teaching about the history of the disability rights movement.
Article. By Chloë Myers and Hank Bersani Jr. Rethinking Schools, Winter 2008/09. A guide for analyzing children's books for prejudice by able-bodied and able-minded people toward people with disabilities.
Article. By Chloë Myers-Hughes and Hank Bersani Jr. Winter 2009-10. The authors of “10 Quick Ways to Analyze Children’s Books for Ableism” look at what Caldecott winners tell young children about disability.
Article. By Ruth Shagoury. We Knew Our History Series.
Textbooks and children’s literature distort Helen Keller’s work, and recount only a fraction of what makes her heroic.
Directed by Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht. Netflix. 2020. 107 minutes. A groundbreaking summer camp galvanizes a group of teens with disabilities to help build a movement, forging a new path toward greater equality.
Digital collection. More than 100 oral histories with leaders and shapers of the disability rights and independent living movement.
Film (YouTube video). 18 minutes. Documentary on the historic civil rights demonstration of people with disabilities in 1977.
Website. Resources for teaching Disability History.
Website. Timeline from Museum of disABILITY History that chronicles significant events in disability history from 400 B.C. to 1999.
This Day in History
Between April 5 and April 28, 1977, hundreds of disabled and handicapped activists organized, protested, and occupied government buildings around the country to pressure the U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, Joseph Califano, to enact Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and publish regulations to guide its enforcement.
This Day in History
Dozens of disabled Americans abandoned their mobility aids and climbed and crawled up the U.S. Capitol steps to raise awareness of threats to the proposed ADA. It worked.