Ableism: In Our Schools

There are ways for teachers and administration to confront the practices of ableism in their schools.  It may feel like a daunting tasks to try and change the opinions of society, but beginning in one school can be an excellent start.  
In his articles "Combating Ableism in Schools" author Keith Storey makes the following recommendations:
  • Ability Awareness - Schools can have teachers and students participate in activities that simulate having a disability.  
  • Disability Content in  Curriculum and School Activities -  Disability needs to be understood in the context that is a an everyday part of life not just an occurrence to learn about on certain days of the year.
  • Teacher Inservice - Training teachers about various disabilities and understanding the root of ableism can make a large impact on teacher attitude and actions.
  • Disability Literature - Books are often integrated into the curriculum about various cultures, works about people with disabilities should also be included in the classroom.
  • Use of Role Models - Students with disabilities need positive role models who are like themselves to look up to just as any other student would.
  • Hiring Teachers with Disabilites - It is common practice to hire employees from diverse backgrounds in terms of ethnicity or civil rights.  It is not as commonplace to hire educators who have a disability.