Activism for Students with Disabilities
It has become a prominent issue for teachers to take disabilities into greater consideration inside their classrooms. Accommodations are becoming increasingly available and affordable thanks to modern technology. Yet this is only part of the story. It is not only harder for students with disabilities to complete their work, but integrating socially with the rest of the class can be a daunting task. Even without facing forms of discrimination, their circumstances create a barrier for them to relate, connect, and engage in regular activities with other students.
You can help by engaging in activism. This is no easy task, but it is one that can be done many different ways. Becoming an activist requires action, consistency, and cause. At the heart of it all, you genuinely believe what you are doing is important. You feel the rush of urgency, the problems differently abled students face, and feel compelled to take action. Once you do, consistent and regular action is essential for long-term success.
Start a website or social media campaign. Use it to get the news out there and shed light on the lives of disabled students. This can be a great platform for new friendships and to help students connect.
Take advantage of public spaces to hold events involving those with special needs. Libraries and community centres offer spaces that can be rented by the hour. By having everyone who comes pay just a few dollars, you can easily cover most or all of the costs.
Get their voices heard. Start a blog with posts written by students. It can examine a variety of issues that they face, from the accomplishments and breakthroughs in technological assistance, to the emotional turbulence and challenges they face daily.
Conduct surveys for friends, students, teachers, and community members. Ask people about how they perceive the current condition of students with disabilities, as well as what else can be done for them. The results can be used to show common ways of thinking and shared beliefs people may not realize are so popular. Use this as a springboard for further action.
Reach out to larger companies and organizations that could help. Write to ones that offer assistance to those with special needs. You could set up an interview, have representatives come to your school, or even use examples of students to show what they could change or improve in their products.
By taking multiple courses of action, you are ensuring a greater chance of success. Not all of these ideas have to work. In fact, most will not. But it only takes one – one yes from a company, one successful survey, one event or fundraiser. You are not only helping students who will benefit tremendously from your efforts, but you are enriching your life and gaining experience that will be invaluable going forward.
Anti-Defamation League. 10 Ways You Can Engage in Activism.