Disability Awareness



This Resource Toolkit is designed for programming at American Spaces to create a greater awareness of issues that persons with disabilities face and how the United States works to ensure they have equal rights.


Program Kits

Here are some great lesson plans and fun activities to raise awareness about different kinds of disabilities. Disability Awareness Lesson Plans.

Ted Talks

Former Fulbright Scholar and Disability Inclusion Advocate Meghan Hussey discusses why inclusion is the key to a disability friendly future. Click here to view this 9-minute TED Talk that is subtitled in 6 languages.


 The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990 prohibiting discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. The ADA gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications. For on the ADA go here.


Assistive Technologies

ADA Anniversary

American Spaces Collections (American Spaces Collections includes a selection of products, including books, games, posters, kits, etc, on specific topics that may be used for programs to engage target audiences)

Written/Video Resources

Photo Archives on Disabilities

Did you know?

According to the CDC, 61 million adults in the U.S. live with a disability. That is 26% or 1 in 4 adults.


TED Talks

Special Olympics Let Me be Myself – A Champion (2015)

Special Olympics champion Matthew Williams argues athletic competition and the camaraderie it fosters can transform lives, Click here for this 14-minute video subtitled in 25 languages.

Our Fight for Disability Rights (2016)

Judith Heumann led a protest called the Section 504 sit-in 40 years ago, demanding greater accessibility for all. She argues that there is more to be done. Click here for this 17-minute video subtitled in 19 languages.


Including Samuel: Inclusion of Children with Disabilities (released 2008)

57 minutes: Before his son Samuel was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, filmmaker Dan Habib rarely thought about people with disabilities. Now he thinks about them including his son in family activities everyday.

Suggested Movies* under Licensing Agreement:

  • What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
  • Children of a Lesser God
  • Wonder

* These films can be screened at American Spaces under our licensing agreement with the MPLC http://bit.ly/MPLCTips. Post will need to procure these films. The Office of American Spaces is not endorsing these movies as they may not be appropriate fo all audiences. Coordinators should screen the films ahead of showing them.

The views expressed in these links and resources do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. government.

Updated May 2024