ACPS Recognizes Disability History and Awareness Month

Did you know that October as Disability History and Awareness Month in Virginia?

ACPS encourages celebrating the differences and unique gifts and abilities of each person every day to create a culture of mutual respect and equal opportunities for all students, including those who are differently-abled.

We place special emphasis on sharing resources with our teachers—such as lesson plans, inclusion projects and discussion starters—and providing opportunities that will enable students to share their uniqueness with their peers and spark classroom discussions about the ways in which classmates are the same and different.

The Office of Specialized Instruction provides a wealth of resources to staff and families for students in all grade levels and promotes the four principles on which the Americans with Disabilities Act is based: inclusion, full participation, economic self-sufficiency and equality of opportunity for all people with disabilities.

Here are some of the ways in which our schools mark Disability History and Awareness Month:

  • Establishing parent support groups to promote disability awareness, parent outreach and education.
  • Making daily morning announcements of a fact, statistic or quote by a famous person about disabilities.
  • Encouraging staff and others to use “people first” language.
  • Collaborating with special education teachers and librarians to share read aloud and picture books on a variety of topics, ranging from having friends with physical disabilities to sensory and behavioral disabilities, learning disabilities and autism.
  • Working with the physical education teachers to create games that require students to hide one of their senses or not have the use of their mobility functions to help students understand what it is like to have a physical disability.

Have questions? Need additional resources? Please contact Janet Reese or Courtney Davis at the Anne R. Lipnick Special Education Parent Resource Center at 703-824-0129.

Last week members of the Special Education Advisory Committee, ACPS parents and students with disabilities attended the School Board Meeting to celebrate the ways in which students with disabilities enrich our schools.

Earlier this month, members of the SEAC, ACPS parents and students with disabilities participated in Del Ray’s Art on the Avenue festival to promote disability awareness.

ACPS, Alexandria City High School, Brooks, Charles Barrett, Cora Kelly, George Mason, George Washington, Hammond, Highlights, Jefferson-Houston, John Adams, Lyles-Crouch, MacArthur, Minnie Howard, Mount Vernon, Patrick Henry, Polk, Ramsay, Tucker