Disability History and Awareness Month

Roz Thompson, Governmental Relations & Advocacy Director, AWSP
Sep 30, 2021


image of inclusion cutout people

Disability History and Awareness Month (RCW 28A.230.158) takes place during October to increase awareness, respect, and acceptance for people with disabilities, and to bring a greater sense of pride to people with disabilities. All Washington public schools are required to conduct or promote educational activities that provide instruction, awareness, and understanding of disability history and people with disabilities. The activities may include, but not be limited to, school assemblies or guest speaker presentations. 

Here are some resources to help you and your students and staff plan lessons or activities.

One Out of Five Project: Disability History and Pride Project

The title of this project is One Out of Five: Disability History and Pride because 1 out of 5 people in the United States has a disability, and this resource is designed to celebrate the history and identities within this large and diverse community. 

One Out of Five was designed by the Washington State Governor’s Office of the Education Ombuds (OEO) in partnership with two local educators, Adina Rosenberg and Sarah Arvey, as a guide for schools to address Disability History Month. OEO has also partnered with Rooted in Rights, the video production team of Disability Rights Washington, to create student voice videos centering students with disabilities, featured in Lesson 1 and in a separate discussion guide. 

This resource is designed to:

  • Center the voices of people with disabilities through youth stories and disability history 

  • Interrupt deficit thinking and expand perceptions of disability and disabled people’s intersectional experiences 

  • Support inclusive school communities highlighting students’ roles being in solidarity with people with disabilities 

  • Expand narratives about United States and Washington history to include people with disabilities  

  • Make teaching about disability accessible to all teachers and students regardless of background and experience

PACER Center

PACER Center is a parent training and information center for families of children and youth with all disabilities from birth to young adults. Located in Minneapolis, it serves families across the nation. Parents and professionals can find publications, workshops, and other resources to help make decisions about education, vocational training, employment, and other services for their children with disabilities.

Disability History and Awareness Month List from OSPI

This is a list of external resources not produced by OSPI. Please review each resource to ensure it fits your needs. Some resources share stories; some of which may have content considered sensitive. 

AWSP Blog on Disability History and Awareness

This AWSP blog from 2020 describes websites, movies, articles, and teaching resources related to Disability History and Awareness. 

  • Inclusion
  • Awards & Recognition
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