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Disability Awareness Week “Living with diversity and overcoming adversity.” Produced by Kathryn Ryan Knowledge is the antidote to fear. - Ralph Waldo Emerson Definitions… Handicap: A situation or barrier imposed by society, the environment, or oneself.

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disability awareness week

Disability Awareness Week

“Living with diversity and overcoming adversity.”

Produced by Kathryn Ryan

  • Handicap: A situation or barrier imposed by society, the environment, or oneself.
  • Disability: A functional limitation that interferes with a person’s ability to walk, talk, hear, learn, etc.


  • Mobility Impairments
  • Epilepsy
  • Learning disabilities
  • Hearing Impairments
  • Visual Impairments
  • 19.4% (1 in 5) or 48.9 million people have a disability
  • 9.9% (1 in 10) have a disability that is not considered to be severe
  • 9.6% (1 in 10) have a severe disability
  • 80.6% (4 in 5) are not considered to have a disability
timeline of disability awareness
Timeline of Disability Awareness

400 BC

  • Hippocrates, the Greek physician, wrote the first work on epilepsy disputing that the disorder was a curse or caused by the gods. He believed that epilepsy was a brain disorder.

15th Century

  • The court fool was a part of the medieval and renaissance court society. Some jesters were disabled either physically or mentally.


  • Elizabethan Poor Laws were passed from 1583 to 1601 in order to aid the deserving poor, orphaned and crippled.


  • The Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, with the help of Benjamin Franklin, is the first hospital to create a special section for the treatment of mental illness and mental retardation.


  • Thomas H. Gallaudet established the first free American school for the deaf and hearing impaired in 1817.


  • The Syracuse State School opened with the help of Dr. Hervey Wilbur. Children that struggled with learning were trained in either domestic arts or farm work.


  • Cerebral Palsy was first classified by the British surgeon William Little.


  • John Langdon Down publishes the first clinical description of what is later known as Down syndrome.


  • The first wheelchair patent was registered with the United States patent office.


  • Maria Montessori opens her first Casa dei Bambini or "House of Children." Montessori developed a successful program of education for learning disabled children that became widely popular.


  • The classification of autism was introduced by Dr. Leo Kanner of John Hopkins University.


  • Truman passes Public Law 176: National Employ the Handicapped Week. National "Employ the Handicapped Week" was created and signed by President Harry Truman as Public Law 176. The week was established to create more awareness of the possibilities available to employ the physically handicapped.


  • First Paralympics Games held in Rome, Italy. They were officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee.


  • "The Education for All Handicapped Children Act," public law 94-142, was passed in 1975. This act allocated federal dollars to states and localities in order to provide education for children with disabilities. Included in the act were provisions for a free and appropriate education, individualized education programs with parental involvement, establishment of due process proceedings, and to provide an education in the least restrictive environment.
  • President George Bush signs the ADA on July 26. The American with Disabilities Act was a wide-sweeping civil rights legislation giving protections to individuals with disabilities. Equal opportunity was established for employment, transportation, telecommunications, public accommodations and the state and federal government's services.
  • Supreme Court rules on Olmstead v. L.C. and E.W. stating that the ADA requires public agencies to provide services in the most integrated setting.
it s ok to offer assistance
It’s OK to offer assistance
  • Just don’t “assume”...
  • a person needs any
  • a person wants any
  • that you know what they might want
visual tests
Visual Tests
  • Some people with dyslexia or learning disabilities also experience visual disturbances when reading text. How does it make you feel to look at them?
  • On the next slide read the colors of the words, not the actual words.

We all have abilities

  • Many of us have disabilities
  • The focus is on the PERSON and their ABILITIES