Civil Rights and Americans with Disabilities

Classroom activities examining the Civil Rights Act and ADA.
Grade Level

Despite its frequent omission from textbooks, the struggle for equity and inclusion for people with disabilities stretches to the very core of U.S. history. In 1817 there was the founding of the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Conn., then in the 1990s there was path-breaking legislation of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Today, there’s ongoing efforts to extend rights in areas such as health care.

The following lessons introduce students to the history of disability rights in the United States, with a focus on standards related to U.S. history, civics and language arts.

Early Grades

Middle Grades

High School

Teaching Tolerance collage of images

Welcome to Learning for Justice—Formerly Teaching Tolerance!

Our work has evolved in the last 30 years, from reducing prejudice to tackling systemic injustice. So we’ve chosen a new name that better reflects that evolution: Learning for Justice.

Learn More