e d g e - education for disability and gender equity

TEACHER'S
GUIDE


CONTENTS

 
1 Overview
2 Common Threads
3 EDGE Website
4 Using the Guide
5 Lessons
  5.1 Physics
  5.2 Biology
  5.3 Government
  5.4 Culture
6 Other Resources
   
 

5.3 GOVERNMENT - or - how do laws get enforced?

 
  Resources
  Some Notable People
  Before Using the Government Module
  After Using the Government Module
 

5.3.1 SUMMARY
In the United States, achieving full equality under the law is still an ongoing struggle. People with disabilities have often been legally marginalized and sometimes legally excluded. Problems with access to public places, employment and sometimes even marriage were legal barriers. In the Government Module we trace the interaction between government and the rights of people with disabilities, and historical and policy information is addressed through the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act. (see Lesson Plan Content)

5.3.2 RESOURCES
Myths about the Americans with Disabilities Act
http://www50.pcepd.gov/pcepd/archives/pubs/ek96/lawmyth.htm

Dept of Justice, Americans with Disabilities Act
http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/adahom1.htm

5.3.3 SOME NOTABLE PEOPLE
James Langevin, Congressman
http://cgi.cnn.com/2000/ALLPOLITICS/stories/11/13/ quadriplegiclawmaker.ap/

Faces of the ADA
http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/adafaces.htm

5.3.4 BEFORE USING THE GOVERNMENT MODULE

  1. Have the students discuss: "What impact does disability have on a society?" Focus the discussion on issues related to public access, civil rights and value of different types of people.
  2. Have the students investigate the legal and societal situation for people with disabilities in the first half of the 20th century. Has the situation changed today? If so, in what ways?

5.3.5 AFTER USING THE GOVERNMENT MODULE

  1. Have the students select a specific area of legally mandated access - such as public places (stores) or telephones or the internet. Have them document the actual level of accessibility. Have them count the number of visibly disabled people that they see in public places on a weekend. If disabled people are at least 10% of any population, where do they think the other disabled people are?
  2. Have the students interview people with disabilities in their local area about the role of government in providing equality of access. Also, have students interview people with disabilities about their own personal role in advocating for access or being part of the disability rights movement.
  3. Have students consider the similarities between the civil rights movement, the women's suffrage movement and Native Indian self-government movements with the disability rights movements.

5.3.6 LESSON PLAN AND CONTENT
This lesson has three parts: Background of anti-discrimination laws; information about how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was created and became a law; and how the ADA is enforced.

Activities
This lesson's activity asks students to think about the role of government in people's lives, and about political considerations which guide elected officials voting decisions.

Self-Test
In the Self-Test students are able to assess the level of their understanding of both the lesson and the accompanying activities. In seven multiple choice questions students get immediate feedback on their answers.

People Resources
This section includes a wide range of workers with disabilities including taxi drivers, scientists and artists.

Resources for further learning
With a focus on employment, these Resources provide extensive information about a myriad of pre-employment and employment situations for people with disabilities. It includes: cost analysis for making workplace accommodations; court decisions on disabled people in the workplace; issues facing disabled people of color; and myths about people with disabilities as workers.

Next - Part 5.4 - Culture


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