Dear County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and Special Education Local Plan Area Directors:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Creates educational, workplace, and independent living products and services for people who are visually impaired.
Exists to improve all the lives affected by autism.
Improves the full independence and equality of opportunity for all blind and visually impaired Californians.
Dedicated to the pursuit of educational excellence of deaf and hard-of-hearing children.
YO! connects, organizes, and educates youths with disabilities. YO! offers youth leadership opportunities, social networks, resources, and more.
Expands learning opportunities for all individuals, especially those with disabilities, through the research and development of innovative, technology-based educational resources and strategies.
Promotes the study of disabilities.
Four-hour documentary radio series about the shared experiences of people with disabilities and their families since the beginning of the nineteenth century.
[Note: link is no longer active.]
Established to promote and improve awareness, availability, and accessibility of information that can help people with disabilities live, learn, love, work, and play independently.
All-volunteer, nonprofit organization of parents, teachers, and professionals serving deaf and hard-of-hearing children.
Promotes and supports the education and general welfare of children and adults of potentially normal intelligence who manifest learning, perceptual, and/or behavioral handicaps.
Dedicated to the collection, preservation, and display of artifacts pertaining to the history of people with disabilities.
Serves as a central source of information on disabilities in infants, toddlers, children, and youths.
Improves blind people’s lives through advocacy, education, research, technology, and programs encouraging independence and self-confidence.
Promotes the full participation of America’s 54 million people with disabilities in all aspects of life.
Provides education outreach to parents, patients, educators, and the community.
(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.
A select list of national and international milestones highlighting people, events, and legislation that affect disability rights.
Sources that explore the social and political history of the disability rights movement from the 1960’s to the present.
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.
Promotes student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.
Provides information about the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Provides an interactive, community-driven information network of disability-related programs, services, laws, and benefits.
Provides information about disability benefits and how to apply.
Serves our state by innovating and collaborating with educators, schools, parents, and community partners.
Preserves and improves the health care status of all Californians.
Works in partnership with consumers and other stakeholders to provide services and advocacy resulting in employment, independent living, and equality for individuals with disabilities.
Connects and supports job seekers and employers.