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Short Events

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Upcoming Short Presentations


Emerging America at the National Council for History Education - March 7-9, 2024 - Cleveland - Register

  • Breakout session:
    • Friday 10-10:50am - Teaching Stories of Disability History: Teachers, Veterans, and Citizens - Rich Cairn, Emerging America 
  • Posters: 
    • Friday 9:30-10:15am - Challenging Primary Sources and Inclusive Teaching: Lessons from Dialogue between History and ESL Teachers - Alison Noyes, Emerging America
    • Saturday 9:30-10:15am - Reform to Equal Rights: Integrate Disability History into History Class - 1776-2024 - Rich Cairn, Emerging America


Empowerment through Disability History - April 9, 2024 - 5-6pm Eastern Time - Free - Register

  • Hosted by the Learning Disabilities Association of America
  • Explore the long arc of disability history with Ross Newton, high school history teacher in Special Education, and Rich Cairn, author of Reform to Equal Rights: K-12 Disability History Curriculum. 
  • Consider disability from the founding of the American Republic through the Disability Rights Movement that won passage of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act and its impacts. Participants will also discuss why and how disability history can be integrated into school classrooms. 
  • For Special Education teachers and interested parents and advocates. 
  • Made possible by a Teaching with Primary Sources grant from the Library of Congress. 
  • Find more info on the webinar for Special Education professionals


    Selected Recent Presentations

    Empowering Students with Disability History: A Workshop for Special Education Professionals - October 18, 2023 & January 30, 2024

    Repeated April 9!


    Emerging America at the 2023 NCSS Conference - December 1-3, 2023 - Nashville


    From Reform to Equal Rights: Disability and Agency in U.S. History - Primary Source - November 8, 2023

    • Rich Cairn, Emerging America 


    Teaching a More Inclusive History: Belchertown State School – Reform to Equal Rights - November 7, 2023 - Belchertown High School


      Strategies and Tools to Integrate Disability into History, Civics, Government, and Human Rights - New Jersey Council for the Social Studies Conference - Rutgers University - October 23, 2023

      • Rich Cairn, Emerging America - Nicole Hansen, Seton Hall University - Christa Bialka, Villanova University - Lisa Schur and Doug Kruse, Rutgers University.


      Teach Disability History: We Can and We Must - March 8, 2023

      National Council for History Education (NCHE) conference - March 23-25, 2023 - Salt Lake City

      Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) conference - February 21-23, 2023 - Las Vegas

      National Council for the Social Studies Conference - December 2-4, 2022 - Philadelphia - Info on NCSS Conference

      Emerging America and Inclusion at the 2022 NCSS Conference 

      • "How to Integrate Disability History into the Curriculum: We Can and We Must" - Rich Cairn presentation includes the new Reform to Equal Rights: K-12 Disability History Curriculum - Friday, December 2, 10:05-10:30am - Marriott Franklin 11 (4th floor). 
      • "Social Studies and History Methods That Include –– and Strengthen –– English learners" - Poster Session. Alison Noyes. Saturday, December 3, 11:30am - 12:30pm. Convention Center Reg Bridge West. 


      Two smiling women wearing name tags stand in front of a conference poster.
      Alison Noyes and Kristen Chapron of iCivics present: "Are Multilingual Students on Your Educating for American Democracy Roadmap." (Photo by Tanai Benard-Turner). 2022 NCSS Philadelphia.


      2022 Recordings & Materials from Presentations 

      Massachusetts and the Experience of Civil War Disability - Graham Warder, Keene State College - June 30, 2022

      Link to the recording (1:02:06 minutes)

      Made possible in part through an Expanding Massachusetts Stories grant from Mass Humanities. 


      Smithsonian National Education Summit - July 27-28, 2022 - Information on the FREE Smithsonian summit.


      Interview with Rich Cairn and Alison Noyes from Emerging America - on Tom Bober's The Primary Source Podcast. 


      History and Civics Accessibility as a Practical Civil Right


      New Inclusive Strategies & Tools for Civic Engagement by Students with Disabilities - 2022 Massachusetts Civic Learning Week


      Inclusion for Civic Learning - Spring 2021 Webinar Series

      • Strategies to Engage All Students in Asking Their Own Questions


      Thinkport Inquiry Kits – Teaching Tools from Maryland Humanities and Maryland Public Television

      • May 4, 2021 -  Lia Atanat, Maryland Humanities - 190 Thinkport kits examine social studies/history themes for use in classroom activities, or as starter kits for History Day projects! Lia showcases Thinkport kits on Disability History and Immigration History. Visit the Thinkport site: 


      Inclusion in Civics and History - Easterseals #TeachDisabilityHistory Campaign 



      Other 2021 Recordings


      Teaching Disability History: From Reform to Equal Rights


      Immigrant Storytelling in the American Narrative

      Wednesday, September 22, 2021 (1 hr) Panel discussion for the Festival Near You programming of the Library of Congress National Book Festival.Sponsored by Emerging America and the Immigrant Learning Center. Over 200 attended live, and over 500 registered to receive the session recording. Link to the Webinar Recording.  

      Launching from the examination of immigration in the memoir of NPR veteran journalist Maria Hinojosa, Once I Was You, this webinar addressed

      • The experiences of people telling immigrant stories in multiple mediums, including refugees and long-time citizens of the united states
      • Strategies for both the U.S.-born and foreign-born to change the conversation
      • LINK to resources on primary sources and events connected to immigration history and stories


      Inquiry as a Primary Mode of Learning 

      • Webinar for AP Teachers on the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap. Emerging America's Rich Cairn joined the panel to speak about Disability History and access strategies. 
        Link to the AP webinar recording. (54 minutes). 


      Learning Disabilities Association of America Panel Discussion - Creating an Inclusive Civic and History Education for All 

      • March 25, 2021 - Learn about Educating for American Democracy (EAD), the changes it represents for all learners, the ways it can be leveraged to develop student self-advocacy and self-determination, and how you can join this ground-breaking effort. Moderated by Learning Disabilities Association of America President, Cindy Cipoletti. With Ace Parsi - EAD and former Director of Innovation at the National Center for Learning Disabilities, Kim Eckert - 2018 Louisiana Teacher of the Year, and Rich Cairn - Director of Emerging America.


      Rethinking Immigration History for ALL Learners

      • February 24, 2021 - Keynote presentation as part of Teacher Librarian Day (TLD). In 2021, the TLD ran from February 22 to 26 with the theme of New Directions. Sponsored by Metropolitan State University of Denver and Western Region TPS. 



      June 3, 2020 - Library of Congress TPS Summer Series - Reflecting on Using Primary Sources to Meet the Needs of Diverse Learners: 

      • December 2, 2020 - WGBH webinar: Teach Diverse Stories with Primary Sources and ArtifactsWGBH recording. (60 minutes). 
      • October 21, 2020 - North East Regional Conference for the Social Studies (NERC): Making History, Civics, & Social Science Accessible to ALL Learners. NERC 2020 recording. (57:02 minutes). 
      • September 23-24, 2020 - Massachusetts Civic Literacy Coalition (MCLC): Engage Students with Disabilities in Inquiry and Civic Action. Materials included available through the MCLC site for the 2020 Civic Literacy Conference: 


      Contact Rich Cairn to schedule Accessing Inquiry and other professional development workshops remotely in your school district, state, or region in 2021-2022. 


      Upcoming Workshops

      Inclusion at the 2024 National Council for History Education Conference March 7-9, 2024 - Cleveland - Register Breakout session: Friday 10-10:50am - Rm Veter…
      Social Studies and Humanities pose distinct challenges for struggling learners. Extensive discipline-specific vocabulary, difficult informational texts –includi…
      April 9, 2024 - Sponsored by the Learning Disabilities Association of America  This one-hour workshop empowers Special Education teachers to foster supportive…