Disability Awareness and Ableism

Person-First Language
Eliminating Sterotypes- words matter! The disability community has developed preferred terminology -- People First Language. More than a fad or political correctness, People First Language is an objective way of acknowledging, communicating and reporting on disabilities. It eliminates generalizations, assumptions and stereotypes by focusing on the person rather than the disability.

Reflecting on the Relationship Between People with Disabilities and Typical People - an article by Zana Marie Lutfiyya noting that a mark of real acceptance of individuals with disabilities in our communities can be found in the real relationships they enjoy with typical people

Valuing Life, Disability or Not -- a radio commentary by Ben Mattlin, who has been quadriplegic since birth. At the memorial service for a friend with a disability, who passed away, he came to realize the world needs to expand its definition of what it means to live a successful life, disability or not.

Me and Tanja Dancing -- a brief video of a man who is paraplegic dancing beautifully with a woman who is an able bodied modern dancer.

Special Education in America -- an excellent 2008 report on the state of students with disabilities in U.S. high schools -- includes a great deal of information and good background and overview -- a highly recommended read.

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities -- a great resource for educators, parents, and others -- includes information about disabilities, law, inclusion, and other educational issues and practices.

Special Education Resource Guide -- lots of links to great sites and resources.

Racial Inequity in Special Education -- an executive summary of a national study conducted by the Civil Rights Project, located at UCLA. This summary states:"Minority children with disabilities all too often experience inadequate services, low-quality curriculum and instruction, and unnecessary isolation from their nondisabled peers. Moreover, inappropriate practices in both general and special education classrooms have resulted in overrepresentation, misclassification, and hardship for minority students, particularly black children." It also offers a number of useful recommendations for improved policy and practice.

Disparate Measures -- a compelling 2002 article about the disproportionate number of youth of color, especially African American males, placed in special education.

A Ghetto Within a Ghetto -- a 2003 article about the research of Gary Orfield and Daniel Losen documenting that African American children, especially males, are overrepresented in special education programs.

Black Over-Representation in Special Education Not Confined to Segregation States -- a 2003 article that makes the point that many states have this problem, not just those that may have resisted school desegregation in the 1970's.

Minority Students in Special and Gifted Education -- a 2002 report that presents research by the National Research Council documenting the disproportionately high number of minority students in special education and the disproportionately low number of minority students in gifted programs.

Addressing Over-Representation of African American Students in Special Education -- a 2002 report that presents data documenting this problem and things educators and community members can do to address it.

Kids as Self Advocates -- an organization of and for youth with special needs to give them voice to speak on their own behalf -- an excellent source of information and perspective about issues of education, culture, transportation, media, athletics, technology, dating, health, and much more -- highly recommedned for educators.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act: Amendments of 1997 -- a government site with information about this important legislation.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004: The Document -- the actual document that is a public law -- very informative and helpful, particularly in its akcnowledgement of the over-representation of students of color in special education and in its presentation of the connection between this law and No Child Left Behind policies.

IDEA Data Website -- data about the Individual with Disabilities Act.

The Illusion and Broken Promises of Special Education -- a 2005 article in Education Week, by Kalman Hettleman, about current and longstanding issues in special education -- (for Ithaca College students in Social and Cultural Foundations of Education, this is also available at the course website).

The Road to Nowhere:The Illusion and Broken Promises of Special Education in the Baltimore and Other Public Schools -- a 2004 report by Kalman Hettleman about the failure of the the educational system to provide appropriate resources and treatment for many special education students.

IDEA Partnership -- a website "dedicated to improving outcomes for students and youth with disabilities through shared work and learning".

National Disability Policy: A Progress Report -- a 2002 report by the National Council on Disability that suggests, among other things, that the No Child Left Behind Act fails to address a number of important issues affecting students with disabilities.

Has Progress Been Made in Raising Achievement for Students with Disabilities? -- a 2009 report that suggests the achievement of students with disabilities is improving nationally-- the tests and measures have issues, and there are points of disagreement, but it appears that there is improvement and that much of this can be attributed to the No Child Left Behind Act and its requirement that students with disabilities be included in standardized testing as part of holding schools and educators accountable.

Students with Disabilities Who Drop Out of School: Implications for Policy and Practice -- a 2002 study that looks at this issue in the context of "new school accountability policies and stiffer promotion and graduation requirements."

Policy and Practice Implications for Secondary and Post-Secondary Education and Employment for Students with Disabilities -- statistics about and recommendations for improving high school completion rates for students with disabilities.

Wrightslaw -- a site of advocacy for and information about education for students with disabilities.

Project CHOICES -- an organization devoted to supporting inclusive education. CHOICES stands for: Children Have Opportunities In Inclusive Communities, Environments, and Schools.

Inclusion -- a University of Northern Iowa site with good resources for educators and parents.

Disabilities Fight Grows as Taxes Pay for Tuition -- an article in the NYTimes about parents bringing cases against school districts in order to have private school tuition paid for their children with disabilities, in cases where they feel the school district has not provided adequate education.

Special Education Resources on the Internet -- lots of good information and links about different disabilities, the law, effective educational practices, and much more.

Count Me In: Special Education in an Era of Standards -- a report discussing the ramifications of the No Child Left Behind Act requiring that students with disabilities take the same standardized tests as typical students and achieve at the same minimum level of proficiency.

Early Childhood Research Institute on Inclusion (ECRII) -- lots of useful information about specific issues and effective programs.

National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center -- lots of good resources -- this organization supports the implementation of the early childhood provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Their mission is to strengthen service systems to ensure that children with disabilities (birth through five) and their families receive and benefit from high quality, culturally appropriate, and family-centered supports and services.

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services -- a U.S. Government Office offering support, resources, history and more.

Special Education Expenditure Project -- a 2003 report about the costs associated with educating students with different types of disabilities.

National Council on Disability -- "an independent federal agency making recommendations to the President and Congress on issues affecting Americans with disabilities."

Council for Exceptional Children -- an excellent website with information about various disabilities and ideas on how to educate children with special needs.

National Organization on Disability -- a good advocacy organization -- good information and links.

Institute on Disability Culture -- an organization that serves "to promote pride in the history, activities, and cultural identity of individuals with disabilities throughout the world. The purpose of this site is to provide information about disability culture and to share examples of our culture."

Disability History and Culture Resources -- "real life stories told by youth and young adults with disabilities about disability history & culture."

Disability in Media -- a good discussion of damaging media stereotypes about people with disabilities.

Disabilities in the Media: The Movies -- an article that poses the question, "After decades of stereotyped, often demeaning portrayals, has Hollywood gotten any better at showing the complexity of living with a disability?"

Women with Disabilities On Media Issues -- good material concerning stereotypes in the media about people with disabilities.

Teaching Tolerance Magazine Resources on Issues of Equity, Respect, and Opportunity for Students with Disabilities -- a number of articles and links presenting some very good programs and information.

Guidelines for Reporting and Writing about People with Disabilities -- a set of guidelines primarily for journalists that has clear relevance for educators and others.

Links to Disability Resources -- good links for e-zines, media and periodicals.

More Students with Disabilities Graduating -- a 1999 report about improved graduation rates of students with disabilities as a consequence of legislation and change over the preceding 25-30 years.

Advancing the Dialogue on Inclusion -- history, information about legislation, and good links.

Inclusion Resources -- good general information about inclusion and related issues -- click on "Special Needs/Inclusion" and "Special Needs/ADD-ADHD."

Circle of Inclusion -- an organization for early childhood service providers and families of young children that offers demonstrations of and information about the effective practices of inclusive educational programs for children from birth through age eight

Conditions Necessary for Desirable Outcomes in Inclusive Classrooms -- a summary of a study.

Inclusion, Children Who Learn Together, Learn To Live Together -- a site for all teachers, general and special ed, as well as parents, to help build successful inclusive education -- also provides links to other good sites about inclusive education

Including Samuel -- an excellent documentary about a boy with disabilities named Samuel, his family, and other young people with disabilities. The film focuses on experiences of students, family members, and educators as these relate to the inclusion of students with disabilities in the mainstream of education. The website includes information about the film as well as resources for educators, youth with disabilities, parents, and others.

The Fingerlakes Independence Center -- an organization in Ithaca, NY with the following mission statement: "We believe that a society which is inclusive of people with disabilities is beneficial to all of its members. Furthermore, we believe that individual and group attitudes toward people with disabilities often create closed social structures and architectural barriers which are detrimental to all members of society. The mission of the Finger Lakes Independence Center is to work toward the elimination of these obstacles, to empower people with disabilities, and thereby create an inclusive society."

Inclusion in Science Education for Students with Disabilities -- a wide range of useful information including specific teaching ideas and strategies.

Resources to Support Individual Learning Needs -- a British site that provides links to educate teachers, parents, and care takers about successful inclusion classrooms.

Dolly Gray Award for Children's Literature in Developmental Disabilities -- a list and description of these award-winning books that "appropriately portray individuals with developmental disabilities." The award is a collaborative work by members of the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and the Special Needs Project (a distributor of books related to disability issues).

Communicating with Culturally Diverse Parents of Exceptional Children -- an article about the importance of cultural awareness, knowledge, and sensitivity in working with the parents/caregivers of culturally diverse students with disabilities.

Co-Teaching: Partnership for Success -- information about why and how to co-teach as part of a successful approach to inclusion.

Special Education Inclusion -- a good online article by the Wisconsin Education Association.

Finding a Better Way to Play For Students With Disabilities -- a good article about a movement to more fully include students with disabilities in active play with other children.

Adapted Physical Education -- information and resources about accommodations in physical education.

The Palaestra Organization -- an excellent site and forum about sport, physical education, and recreation for those with disabilities.

National Center On Physical Activity and Disability -- good information and resources about the value of people with disabilities staying physically active.

Project Inspire -- adapted physical education.

The Special Olympics -- the home page of this great organization.

Yahoo.com Directory of Resources -- useful links.

LD Online -- a good site dedicated to learning disabilities.

Educating Students with Learning Disabilities -- a report by the National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities about resources for educators that will help them work more effectively with students who have learning disabilities.

SparkTop -- a site that provides games and online learning experiences for youth "who learn differently" -- a site "where no two brains think alike" -- a site where youth who "learn differently" can "connect with other kids and discover new ways to succeed in school and in life."

National Attention Deficit Disorder Association -- information and resources in support of people with ADD/ADHD.

Teaching Children with Attention Deficit Disorder -- good practical strategies for teachers.

Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder - a national organization addressing the important issue.

ADD/ADHD Links Page -- a wealth of useful links and topics.

Teaching Students with ADHD -- good strategies and techniques.

ADHD.com -- a very full page with lots of resources and links.

ADD.About.com -- more good articles and links.

Attention.com -- information and resources related to increasing attention, focus, and motivation.

National Down Syndrome Society -- "The mission of the NDSS is to be the national advocate for the value, acceptance, and inclusion of people with Down syndrome." The site includes excellent educational information, stories about and by people with Down syndrome, and lots of other good resources.

Down Syndrome Online -- a great resource for learning about people and children with Down syndrome -- includes an online journal with extensive research relevant to teaching children and youth with Down syndrome and much more.

A Guide to Children's Literature and Disability -- books indexed by reading level, age, and different disabilities.

Inclusion.com -- books, videos, workshops, and links.

Prelude Therapy -- music therapy and the special needs student.

Apraxia Kids -- a good website directed at parents, teachers and speech specialists -- lots of articles, research and links.

Center for the Study of Autism -- extensive links and resources, including video clips and much more.

Educating the Student With Asperger's Syndrome -- presents learning and behavioral characteristics of Asperger's Syndrome students and teaching strategies.

Very Special Arts -- a site about integrating the arts into the education of students with disabilities.

Stretching the Senses in "Touch the Sound" -- a radio piece about a documentary film that focuses on Evelyn Glennie, an great percussionist and composer who has been deaf since she was twelve.

National Arts and Disability Center -- a site that promotes the inclusion of people with special needs into the visual, performing, media, and literary arts communities.

Educating Jewish Children with Special Needs -- a website that talks about teaching Jewish children with special needs.

Soundbeam -- this is a revolutionary means of giving students with disabilities a new way to express themselves.

Music Therapy and Music Education -- this is an informative article, which discusses some recent developments in these fields, and descriptions of what is available.

Science of Music -- this site offers some unique ways to educate children about music.

Grants Center -- this site offers several suggestions of ways and places to get grants for new music equipment written and accepted.

Music and Special Education Needs -- this web site offers some great tools to help develop and plan out inclusive music education into the classroom.

Strategies for Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities -- this site offers a brief description of the problems faced by students with learning disabilities and offers teaching strategies on different areas of education including strategies on writing tests and exams.

Learning Disabilities Association of America -- the Learning Disabilities Association of America website offers information about learning disabilities organized into different sections relevant for teachers, parents, adults, professionals.

Five Homework Strategies for Teaching Students with Disabilities -- this website states that not only are special accommodations needed in the classroom but on homework as well for students with learning disabilities.

Learning Disabilities -- this site uses a personal story to show an example of a learning disability in real life and then offers tips for parents and teachers.

Teaching for Inclusion -- this site discusses the warning signs of different learning disabilities and explains the effects these disabilities have in different academic areas.

Inclusion :Children Who Learn Together, Live Together -- a great site to learn about what inclusion is and all the different benefits that come from it. It is designed for parents with children who have disabilities, without disabilities, and students to look at and learn.

The Circle of Inclusion -- this site provides insight onto all the different topics of inclusion. It gives a teacher the ability to find lessons to use to teach their classes with.

Parents for Inclusion -- a great informational site that offers a lot of comfort to parents with children who have disabilities.

The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability: Disabilities and Conditions -- a resource on how to adapt activities for students with disabilities.

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired -- educational services for the blind and visually impaired for students in Texas.

U.S. Department of Labor: Teacher-Special Educations -- a resource for teachers that describes the working conditions, training, and qualifications for special education.

Wisconsin Education Association Council: Special Education Inclusion -- an article that gives an overview of special education concerning the inclusion of students with disabilities.

Southwest Educational Development Laboratory: Inclusion: The Pros and Cons -- an educational article discussing the pros and cons of inclusion, as well as a brief history.

Disabled Sports USA: The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability -- information on a variety of topics related to physical activity and disability.