Disability Awareness Month (October)
Encourage and assist school staff in providing Disability History and Awareness during Disability Awareness Month, October. In 2007, the state of NC passed a law requiring that “Each local board of education shall provide instruction on disability, people with disabilities, and the disability rights movement in conjunction with Disability History and Awareness Month.” The purpose of the law is to “teach future generations that people with disabilities have a rich history and have made valuable contributions throughout North Carolina and the United States, and ensure future generations understand that disability is a natural part of life and that people with disabilities have a right to be treated as individuals above all else”.
Activities should promote understanding of the challenges individuals with disabilities face, but also to promote awareness of the contributions individuals with disabilities make. Activities could include book readings, art projects, hands-on activities (for example, making Braille letters, sensory experiences, experiencing school in a wheelchair), wax museums, bulletin boards, guest speakers, or essays that promote better understanding, awareness, and appreciation of individuals with disabilities.
A parent education component (such as a handout sent home) about the benefits of inclusion for all students - including non-disabled peers - is also recommended to promote acceptance of students with disabilities in the general education classroom.
IDEAS for Disability Awareness Month
Elementary schools may like Easter Seals “Friends Who Care” Disability Awareness Curriculum: http://www.easterseals.com/explore-resources/making-life-accessible/friends-who-care.html