Guest blog by Monica Verra-Tirado, Ed.D
Chief, Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services
The first two weeks of October are Disability History and Awareness Weeks in Florida. These two weeks are set aside each year to call attention to the history of the disability rights movement and to emphasize the outstanding abilities and achievements of individuals with disabilities. We here at the Florida Department of Education, along with school districts and schools throughout the state, are celebrating with a variety of activities.
For example, many districts ask their school boards to pass a resolution recognizing Disability History and Awareness Weeks and use their district website to promote disability awareness. At the school level, morning announcements are used to provide information on famous people with disabilities, banners and posters are hung, school libraries sponsor a book exhibit to expand students’ understanding and awareness of individuals with disabilities, and guest speakers with disabilities are invited to share their stories with students.
In the classroom, students can design their own awareness posters, fliers, or buttons, search the internet for positive stories about people with disabilities, learn about specific disabilities and the assistive technologies that help students learn.
These are just a very few of the possible activities. For more information and activity ideas, check out our DHA website at http://www.fldoe.org/ese/history.asp. If you have a great idea for an activity, send it to us at BRIC@fldoe.org so we can share it on our website.