RESOLUTION 2010-02

History of Disabilities
AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2010-02

SUMMARY:

1. This organization herewith goes on record that we will not accept the version of disability history that is being offered as truth by other organizations in the disability rights arena. And, in particular, this organization categorically and emphatically repudiates the notion that the disability rights movement began with the Independent Living movement in California in the 1970s.

2. This organization expresses our pride knowing that the genesis of the disability rights movement involved people who are blind seeking the opportunity to be fully included in our society and we absolutely insist that their contribution to awakening our country to the potentialities of people with disabilities cannot and will not be ignored or forgotten or knowingly minimized by anyone.

3. This organization categorically demands that every state that has passed laws that permit or require that disability history be included as part of the curricula of elementary and secondary schools include the significant role played by deaf and/or blind people in the disability rights movement.

4. Each state affiliate of the American Council of the Blind is hereby strongly encouraged to become directly involved with their respective state Departments of Education and categorically demand that the role played by sensory impaired people in the creation of equality for all people with disabilities be accurately and fully included in such training.

5. Our national organization is hereby instructed to seek funding and support for the development of a national curriculum framework that can provide to states clear and accurate information that can be used to implement these educational opportunities.

WHEREAS, the American Council of the Blind is committed to honoring the rich disability history of which our organization is a part; and

WHEREAS, it is expected that, by the end of this year, thirty states will have considered legislation that permits or requires schools in each of those states to conduct activities that could have the effect of promoting an understanding of the rich and varied history of the movement which has created the current state of inclusion of people with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, it has become clear, given the experience of the implementation of such laws in several states, that historical information provided to students is incomplete, inaccurate and misleading; and

WHEREAS, in particular, the role of individuals with sensory impairments in creating the environment out of which the disability rights movement grew is grossly under-represented, if not ignored; and

WHEREAS, it is imperative that this egregious distortion of the truth be corrected; and

WHEREAS, it is unconscionable that the rich and varied tapestry of the history of people with disabilities ignores the pioneering efforts of people who are deaf and/or blind who, since 1880, have created organizations and legislation that pioneered virtually all of the notions that were later embodied in both the civil rights laws that were passed in the 1960s and in the disability rights movement that emerged only after 1970;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the Downtown Sheraton Hotel in Phoenix, Ariz., on the 16th day of July, 2010, that this organization herewith goes on record that we will not accept the version of disability history that is being offered as truth by other organizations in the disability rights arena. And, in particular, this organization categorically and emphatically repudiates the notion that the disability rights movement began with the Independent Living movement in California in the 1970s; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization expresses our pride knowing that the genesis of the disability rights movement involved people who are blind seeking the opportunity to be fully included in our society and we absolutely insist that their contribution to awakening our country to the potentialities of people with disabilities cannot and will not be ignored or forgotten or knowingly minimized by anyone; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization categorically demands that every state that has passed laws that permit or require that disability history be included as part of the curricula of elementary and secondary schools include the significant role played by deaf and/or blind people in the disability rights movement; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that each state affiliate of the American Council of the Blind is hereby strongly encouraged to become directly involved with their respective state Departments of Education and categorically demand that the role played by people with sensory impairments in the creation of equality for all people with disabilities be accurately and fully included in such training; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that our national organization is hereby instructed to seek funding and support for the development of a national curriculum framework that can provide clear and accurate information to states that can be used to implement these educational opportunities.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary