EI-Helen Keller Project: Disabilities & Society

How to Search:

Teacher's Guidelines: Source Detectives

Disabilities - History

How were the disabled viewed and treated in past history?

Disabilities in Film & Literature

Using film and literature as a starting point for developing a visual understanding of how the disabled, sick and insane were treated in different cultures and during different time periods. See El Cid (leper), Huntchback of Notre, Dame, Ben Hur...

Disability and the Media-*

My Left Foot
The story of Christy Brown, who was born with cerebral palsy. He learned to paint and write with his only controllable limb - his left foot.

The leper in El Cid

Quasimodo in The Huntchback of Notre Dame

Americans with Disabilities - Civil Rights Movement

  • Americans with Disabilities Act Primary SourceCoelho, Tony. "Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990." Social Policy: Essential Primary Sources. Ed. K. Lee Lerner, Brenda Wilmoth Lerner, and Adrienne Wilmoth Lerner. Detroit: Gale, 2006. 396-401. U.S. History In Context. Web. 5 Apr. 2013.
  • Disability Rights Movement "Disability Rights Movement." UXL Encyclopedia of U.S. History. Sonia Benson, Daniel E. Brannen, Jr., and Rebecca Valentine. Vol. 2. Detroit: UXL, 2009. 444-446. U.S. History In Context. Web. 22 Mar. 2013
  • Lives Worth Living Interactive Timeline-
  • "Lives Worth Living." Lives Worth Living Interactive Timeline. PBS, n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2013.
  • Lives Worth Living. Dir. Eric Neudel. Perf. Mary Louise Parker. Independent Lens: Lives Worth Living. YouTube, 30 Aug. 2011. Web. 05 Apr. 2013.
  • Disability Rights Movement"disability rights movement." American History. ABC-CLIO, 2013. Web. 5 Apr. 2013.

Famous People with Disabilities

Education & Activities

Disability Resources & Education (University of Illinois)
Blind/Vision Impairment
Miracle League Let's Kids with Disabilities Play Ball

National Federation for the Blind Learning Resources
Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Schooling Experince (Self-advocacy, parental involvement, and a supportive school district create a winning team for kids with hearing loss)
Gallaudet University: http://www.mashpedia.com/Gallaudet_University

"Technology Helps Deaf Students at Gallaudet University." VOA. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2013.

Disabilities Organizations

Search for a direct link to the organization and search for training, careers and support services for the disabled individual, their family and/or community. Outreach to a community to build understanding and respect for the individual who happens to have a disability is critical to helping build connections and opportunities in the community.
American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
The Arc of the US
Best Buddies
Easter Seals
Goodwill Industries-Specialized Services for People with Disabilities
Goodwill Industries International provides training, placement and retention services to support employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
National Council on Independent Living
National Association of the Deaf (NAD)
National Federation of the Blind
Special Olympics

Mental Health Organizations

These organizations provide services and training for the individual and in many cases training for the community and families.
Alfred Low Self Help Organization (Recovery INC) (Offers free support groups at meetings or online)
Community Behavioral Healthcare Association
Heartland Alliance
National Alliance for Mental Illness
NAMI of Greater Chicago
NAMI of Illinois (trainin for the families and support groups for the individual---FAMILY 2 FAMILY is a training session for families to help them cope)
The National Council on Behavioral Healthcare
New Foundation Center
US Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association

Society's Perception and Treatment of Disabled

What do the disabled feel about their disability and how society perceives them and treats them.

Assault: Children with Disabilities Are More Likely to be Victims of Violence (New York Times)

Disabilities & Housing

"Videos/U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)." Videos/U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2013. <http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/press/multimedia/videos>.
http://www.tubechop.com/watch/1136564 A young woman shares her experience with discrimination on the basis of her disability.

Disabilities & Careers

Education sites and organizations list possible job training and opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Several "career"

Disabilities Awareness (by type)

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD and ADHD)

Autism Spectrum and Aspergers

Autistic Girl Expresses Unimaginable Intelligence


Hearing Impaired (Deaf)

Pervasive Development Disorder (PDD-NOS)

Physical Handicap

"Okitela Is Proof That People With Disabilities Can Excel." Africa News Service 25 Aug. 2012. Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 26 Apr. 2013.


"World Leprosy Day 2010." YouTube. YouTube, 21 Oct. 2009. Web. 24 Apr. 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWXzx3IwNXI>.


Mental Health

Crisis Stabalization Units (Florida-Backer Act)
Peterson, Lindsay. "An Act of Desperation." Tampa Tribune (Tampa, FL). 06 Apr 2003: n.p. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 15 Apr 2013.
Borderline Personality Disorder
Schizophrenia (PDF)
Schizophrenia: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Teenage Mental Health - Darkness Visible - First Light." YouTube. A Living ArchiveProduction [UK Film Production], 19 July 2011. Web. 23 Apr. 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TASDuzP6vW4>.

Outlook and Future Potential

"Okitela Is Proof That People With Disabilities Can Excel." Africa News Service 25 Aug. 2012. Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 26 Apr. 2013.

All Disabilities
Disabilities (USA) Disability.gov (search for careers and services)
Autism - Career Opportunities Future Outlook
Silverman, Lauren. "Young Adults With Autism Can Thrive In High-Tech Jobs." Shots: Health News from NPR. National Public Radio (NPR). WBEZ 91.5, Chicago, IL, 22 Apr. 2013. Radio. http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/04/22/177452578/young-adults-with-autism-can-thrive-in-high-tech-jobs
Mental Health (India)
"The MINDS Foundation: Allieviating Suffering through a Grassroots Approach." The MINDS Foundation. Minds Foundation, n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2013. <http://www.mindsfoundation.org/phase-iii/>.