Disability History and Awareness Resources

The Florida Department of Education (FL DOE) sets aside the first two weeks in October as Disability History and Awareness Weeks.

Check out the Disability Awareness Resource Guide found on the FL DOE's website. The site includes many resources.

Autism Awareness
Autism statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify about 1 in 88 American children as being on the autism spectrum–a ten-fold increase in prevalence in 40 years. Studies also show that autism is four to five times more common among boys than girls. An estimated 1 out of 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls are diagnosed with autism in the United States each year. Autism Speaks stresses the importance of recognizing the early signs of autism and seeking early intervention services. One of the most important things you can do as a parent or caregiver is to learn the early signs of autism and become familiar with the typical developmental milestones that your child should be reaching. For a list of RED FLAGS that may indicate your child is at risk, go to Learn the Signs. Find many resources on autism here.

Other good resources: Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew written by Ellen Notbohm
Ten Things Autism Parents Wish You Knew from Autism Speaks

End the “R-Word”Will you join me? Let us work to remove the “R-word” from our vocabularies in an effort to promote the inclusion and acceptance of people with intellectual disabilities. The word “retard” is demeaning and hurts people with intellectual disabilities, as well as their families and loved ones. Review a fact sheet and key messages about a recent event to end the "R-Word" here, http://www.r-word.org/r-word-resources.aspx. Watch these inspiring videos on You Tube, one called End the R-Word created by siblings of kids with developmental disabilities on you tube and another called Not Acceptable.
The following powerpoint presentation on Disability Awareness was designed for use with middle or high school students and/or adults. Presenting Disability Awareness to Secondary Students

We're More Alike Than Different is a classroom presentation designed to increase children's sensitivity to others with disabilities. Students participate in disability simulation activities. The target audience for We're More Alike Than Different is elementary school students. To schedule a classroom presentation, contact FDLRS/Gateway, 386-792-2877.

Friends Who Care is a free Disability Awareness Curriculum designed by Easter Seals for use with elementary school students. This program includes a teachers' guide, specially designed learning activities and hands on exercises.

Check out these resources for a different view on having a disability.

The following are other good resources on interacting with people with disabilities.
  • The United Spinal Association's booklet, Disability Etiquette, contains great information and includes some cute cartoons. DisabilityEtiquette
  • The People First Language chart will help focus on the person not the disability. People First Language
  • The Ten Commandments of Communicating with People with Disabilities provides more suggestions. Ten Commandments