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Grades 9-12: The Long Struggle for Disability Rights

A group of ADAPT activists sitting in wheelchairs or on the ground in front of a building to protest using nursing homes for disabled people. Two wear shirts that say "people first" and they all carry signs that say things like "free our people" or "our home NOT nursing homes."
ADAPT protest. (c1980s). Photo by Tom Olin. Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

Grades 9-12 Unit Overview: The Long Struggle for Disability Rights

The Unit Overview features a grid of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) strategies and tools employed, standards, and a list of the nearly 60 primary sources used in the unit with thumbnails for each. (Lists of primary sources in lesson plans include hyperlinks to sources as readable text. Lesson plans detail the UDL strategies and tools that they use.) The Unit Overview also lists all secondary sources and background materials for teachers used in the unit.

All the grades 8-10 units begin with a brief introduction to the topic. The unit culminates in a research project on the Disability Rights Movement. Some students can research this topic while others research other civil rights movements of the post-World War II period. In lesson 3, students apply what they have learned about civic action to research, plan, and carry out their own civic engagement project. (This lesson is also used for grades 6-8.) Link to Grades 9-12 Long Struggle for Disability Rights Unit Overview

Grades 6-12 - Intro Lesson: Introduction to Disability History 

Introductory lesson slides call students to use words about disability with respect. The slides also include a definition of disability and feature pictures from the Library of Congress that show tools for access. Students generate questions. 

Grades 9-12 - Lesson 1: The Roots of the Disability Rights Movement

Students use the Question Formulation Technique to develop questions for inquiry. Then they hear a presentation using lesson 1 slides on the Disability Rights Movement highlighting disabled advocates across 200 years of American history. 

Grades 9-12 - Lesson 2: Research and Share Disability Rights History

Students research the causes, goals and methods, successes and setbacks of the Disability Rights Movement, using varied collections of sources. Students present research with multiple media options: talk with slides, podcast, video, essay, or poster.

Grades 9-12 - Inclusive Civics Project - Disability Rights  

This lesson offers an extensive–and optional process to guide research, planning, and organizing civic engagement projects that are genuinely inclusive. The lesson also offers resources to work on disability rights projects. 

Screen cap of the cover of the Long Struggle for Disability Rights unit overview features a 1936 photo of several members of the League of the Physically Handicapped loading into a truck and holding signs demanding jobs.
Grades 9-12 Unit Overview: Long Struggle for Disability Rights
Link to a google doc of the grades 9-12 Long Struggle for Disability Rights Unit Overview. 
A photograph of President George H.W. Bush signing the Americans with Disabilities Act into law. He is seated at a table outside, there is a fountain in the background. Four other people surround the table, three men and one woman, two men are using wheelchairs. Justin Dart sits to the president's left, wearing his trademark cowboy hat, a suit, and a button that supports the ADA on his lapel.
Grades 6-12 Lesson: Introduction to Disability History

Link to a google doc of the grades 6-12 lesson: Introduction to Disability History. 

Includes slides. 

A newspaper photograph shows dozens of members of the League of the Physically Handicapped in around a truck that they drove from New York to Washington to demand access to WPA jobs.
Grades 9-12 Lesson 1: The Roots of the Disability Rights Movement

Link to a google doc of the grades 9-12 lesson 1 on the Disability Rights Movement. 

Includes slides. 

A photo of a group of six men sitting around a table. A large device takes up most of the table space. It is a box that opens up and has a record player inside as well as speakers fo amplify sound. The men sit in chairs and face the device. While some of the man wear glasses, all of their eyes are closed. The men lean towards the device to listen, leaning on their hands and resting their elbows on the table.
Grades 9-12 Lesson 2: Research and Share Disability Rights History

Link to a google doc of the grades 9-12 lesson 2 on the Disability Rights Movement. 

A photograph of activist Tony Young on a street in Washington, D.C. with the Capitol Dome in the background. Young is wearing a suit and uses a motorized wheelchair.
Grades 9-12 Civics Project Lesson: Inclusive Civics Project - Disability Rights
Link to a google doc of the civics project lesson for grades 9-12. 

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