Teacher-Written Lessons on Disability History
The lessons below were written by individual teachers as part of Accessing Inquiry for Students with Disabilities through Primary Sources grad courses. They reflect the idiosyncratic needs of each teacher in their particular settings. All share a commitment to accessibility. By contrast, Emerging America's Reform to Equal Rights curriculum offers 23 lessons that provide a coherent approach to disability history across all grades.
State Standards on Disability History - List of standards that directly address Disability History in the 2018 Massachusetts history standards, with links to lessons that address them. UPDATED 11-03-2021.
- Emerging America - accessible teacher-written lesson plans on Disability History:
- What is Our Value? A look at undervalued people (2)
- In or Out: Race and Disability as Legal Barriers to Immigration (3-5)
- How disability rights activists created change (5, 8)
- Deformity and Disability in Ancient Greece (6-8)
- Tutankhamun, Egyptian Boy-King: Disability, Art, & Respect (6-8)
- Ancient Rome's Veterans with Disabilities: Roman Accounts and U.S. Veteran Comparisons (6-8, 9-12)
- Injuries and Disability in 19th Century Industry (6-8)
- Civil War Veterans & Disability in American History (6-8, 9-12)
- Citizenship and Community Involvement (6-8, 9-12)
- Civil Rights & Disability: 1990 ADA, IDEA, & the Juvenile Justice System Today (6-8, 9-12)
- Disability, Protest, and the 504 (8)
- The Emergence of Special Education (9-12)
- Reforming American Society with Dix and Mann (9-12)
- Nellie Bly 1887: Exposing Treatment of Those with Mental Illness (9-12)
- World War I and Disability (9-12)
- The Great Depression, Dust Bowl, Disability: Background for "Of Mice and Men" (9-12)
- Social Security: What is the Federal Responsibility to Care for Vulnerable People? (9-12)
- Who Should Care for America's Veterans? (9-12)
- Emerging America - Primary source sets on Disability History:
- Disability History (3-5, 6-8, 9-12)
- Eugenics: Preoccupation with Genetic Fitness and Threats of Difference & Disability (6-8, 9-12)
- Polio and Parallels to the Covid-19 Pandemic (6-8, 9-12)
Search the Teaching Resources section on this site for inquiry-based, teacher-designed lessons that demonstrate strategies to enliven historical content through engaging learning activities–and incorporating a rich mix of primary sources. Our Inquiry Strategies page offers in-depth explanation of how to incorporate inquiry into teaching diverse learners.
Find more accessible lessons and teaching resources using search tool for the Emerging America library of Teaching Resources.