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Assembly Concurrent Resolution 162

Letter Head: Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, California Department of Education

October 18, 2011

Dear County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and Special Education Local Plan Area Directors:

IMPLEMENTATION OF ASSEMBLY CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 162

Each year, October is designated as National Disability Employment Awareness Month. In California, Assembly Concurrent Resolution 162 was passed to designate the second week in October as Disability History Week. To commemorate the importance of these designations, the California Department of Education (CDE) will institute a series of activities at its headquarters in Sacramento.

The purpose of this letter is to promote awareness of these activities as well as to provide schools with resources available to be used in curriculum and social activities. The list of resources that are included with this letter is meant to assist districts in meeting the requirements of ACR 162 in developing materials for educating students about the important contributions of people with disabilities and the importance of the disability rights movement.

Raising awareness about disabilities is about the protection of students with disabilities from discrimination or harassment. California Education Code (EC) protects students from discrimination or harassment based on nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, or disability. The purpose of these EC sections is to ensure the right of all students in California public schools to participate fully in the educational process, as stated in EC sections 200 and 201. In addition, EC Section 220 specifically prohibits discrimination against students on the “basis of disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation” in any school programs or activities.

The CDE provides guidance to local school districts on their duty to protect students in public schools from discrimination on the CDE Duty to Protect Students Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/di/eo/dutytoprotect.asp. This Web page includes citations of additional EC sections that ensure access to quality education, which is a fundamental right of every student and is fully guaranteed and protected by the California Constitution.

It is my hope that schools can use resources like these to help promote awareness of the diversity within their communities and help reduce incidents based on misunderstanding and intolerance of people with disabilities.

If you have any questions regarding disability history and awareness, please contact Linda Wyatt, Consultant, Special Education Division, by phone at 916-322-3254 or by e-mail at lwyatt@cde.ca.gov.

Sincerely,

Tom Torlakson

TT:km


Attachment

Links to national and state organizations involved with disabilities that have Web site resources that can be used as curriculum materials. Several of these organizations can provide presenters to make presentations about disability history and awareness:
American Printing House for the Blind

Creates educational, workplace, and independent living products and services for people who are visually impaired.
http://www.aph.org/ External link opens in new window or tab.

Autism Society

Exists to improve all the lives affected by autism.
http://www.autism-society.org/ External link opens in new window or tab.

California Council of the Blind

Improves the full independence and equality of opportunity for all blind and visually impaired Californians.
http://www.ccbnet.org/ External link opens in new window or tab.

California Educators of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Dedicated to the pursuit of educational excellence of deaf and hard-of-hearing children.
http://www.cal-ed.org/ External link opens in new window or tab.

California Foundation for Independent Living Centers—YO!

YO! connects, organizes, and educates youths with disabilities. YO! offers youth leadership opportunities, social networks, resources, and more.
http://www.yodisabledproud.org/organize/disability-history-week.php External link opens in new window or tab.

Center for Applied Special Technology

Expands learning opportunities for all individuals, especially those with disabilities, through the research and development of innovative, technology-based educational resources and strategies.
http://www.cast.org/ External link opens in new window or tab.

Disability History Association

Promotes the study of disabilities.
http://www.dishist.org/ External link opens in new window or tab.

Beyond Affliction: The Disability History Project

Four-hour documentary radio series about the shared experiences of people with disabilities and their families since the beginning of the nineteenth century.
http://www.npr.org/programs/disability/
External link opens in new window or tab. [Note: link is no longer active.]

DRM Web Watcher

Established to promote and improve awareness, availability, and accessibility of information that can help people with disabilities live, learn, love, work, and play independently.
http://www.disabilityresources.org/HISTORY.html External link opens in new window or tab.

IMPACT 

All-volunteer, nonprofit organization of parents, teachers, and professionals serving deaf and hard-of-hearing children.
http://www.impactfamilies.org/ External link opens in new window or tab.

Learning Disabilities Association of California

Promotes and supports the education and general welfare of children and adults of potentially normal intelligence who manifest learning, perceptual, and/or behavioral handicaps.
http://www.ldaca.org/ External link opens in new window or tab.

Museum of Disability History

Dedicated to the collection, preservation, and display of artifacts pertaining to the history of people with disabilities.
http://www.museumofdisability.org/ External link opens in new window or tab.

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities

Serves as a central source of information on disabilities in infants, toddlers, children, and youths.
http://nichcy.org/ External link opens in new window or tab.

National Federation of the Blind

Improves blind people’s lives through advocacy, education, research, technology, and programs encouraging independence and self-confidence.
http://www.nfb.org/ External link opens in new window or tab.

National Organization on Disability

Promotes the full participation of America’s 54 million people with disabilities in all aspects of life.
http://www.nod.org/ External link opens in new window or tab.

UC Davis MIND Institute

Provides education outreach to parents, patients, educators, and the community.
http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/mindinstitute/education/ External link opens in new window or tab.

 

Materials about the Disability Rights Movement
The Disability Rights Movement

(Smithsonian National Museum of American History)
Looks at the efforts of people with disabilities, and their families and friends, to secure the civil rights guaranteed to all Americans.
http://www.americanhistory.si.edu/disabilityrights/exhibit.html External link opens in new window or tab.

Disability History Timeline

A select list of national and international milestones highlighting people, events, and legislation that affect disability rights.
http://isc.temple.edu/neighbor/ds/disabilityrightstimeline.htm External link opens in new window or tab.

U.C. Berkeley Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement

Sources that explore the social and political history of the disability rights movement from the 1960’s to the present.
http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/collections/drilm/ External link opens in new window or tab.

 

Federal agencies involved with disabilities
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

Supports programs that help educate children and youths with disabilities, provides for the rehabilitation of youths and adults with disabilities, and supports research to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities.
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/index.html External link opens in new window or tab.

U.S. Department of Education

Promotes student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.
http://www.ed.gov/ External link opens in new window or tab.

U.S. Department of Justice

Provides information about the Americans with Disabilities Act.
http://www.ada.gov/ External link opens in new window or tab.

Disability.gov

Provides an interactive, community-driven information network of disability-related programs, services, laws, and benefits.
https://www.disability.gov/ External link opens in new window or tab.

Social Security Administration

Provides information about disability benefits and how to apply.
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/applyfordisability/ External link opens in new window or tab.

 

State agencies involved with disabilities
California Department of Developmental Services

Provides services and support to individuals with developmental disabilities. External link opens in new window or tab.
http://www.dds.ca.gov/ External link opens in new window or tab.

California Department of Education

Serves our state by innovating and collaborating with educators, schools, parents, and community partners.
http://www.cde.ca.gov/index.asp

California Department of Health Care Services

Preserves and improves the health care status of all Californians.
http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/Pages/default.aspx External link opens in new window or tab.

California Department of Rehabilitation

Works in partnership with consumers and other stakeholders to provide services and advocacy resulting in employment, independent living, and equality for individuals with disabilities.
http://www.dor.ca.gov/ External link opens in new window or tab.

California Employment Development Department

Connects and supports job seekers and employers.
http://www.edd.ca.gov/ External link opens in new window or tab.

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