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LESSON

Picturing Accessibility: Art, Activism and Physical Disabilities

The four lessons in this series focus on public design and accessibility. Students will learn about the interaction between art and activism. They will use language and literacy skills to understand what ableism is and why it is important.
Grade Level

Children need opportunities to discuss what they know and don't know about accessibility, ableism and stereotypes regarding people with disabilities so that they can be empowered to talk to one another about the ways these issues impact their own lives. The four lessons in this series focus on public design and accessibility. Students will learn about the interaction between art and activism. They will use language and literacy skills to understand what ableism is and why it is important. Students will also work on forming opinions about what equity for people with physical disabilities actually means.

Lesson One: What Is Ableism provides background knowledge and key vocabulary.

Lesson Two: Accessibility Icons in Action explores universally acknowledged accessibility icons with discussion about their advantages and disadvantages.

Lesson Three: How Art Can Be Activism examines the story of one artist who used design to combat stereotypes about people who use wheelchairs.

Lesson Four: Taking Action for Accessibility offers a chance to apply learning to problems and issues in the school and community.

Remember that children have had a variety of experiences with disabilities, and they are bringing their own perspectives to this series. Children with physical disabilities sit in our classrooms, as do those whose family members or close friends have disabilities. It’s important not to single these children out or make them feel as though the lessons are directed at them. Acknowledge children's unique perspectives and experiences when they are offered, but emphasize that these lessons are for everyone.