Links Module 8

SECTION 2: Strategies for Customization

Adapting and Making Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

The following resources provide guidance on working with students with a variety of disabilities. The resources provide information about adaptations that can be made to instructional techniques and accommodations that can be provided to increase inclusion in the classroom.

Teaching Students with Disabilities
Source: Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching
Link: cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/disabilities/

Successful Strategies for Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities
Source: Learning Disabilities Association of America
Link: ldaamerica.org/successful-strategies-for-teaching-students-with-learning-disabilities/

Teaching Students with Disabilities
Source: Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Washington
Link: www.washington.edu/teaching/topics/inclusive-teaching/teaching-students-with-disabilities/

Teaching Students with Disabilities
Source: University of Rochester
Link: www.rochester.edu/college/teaching/teaching-guidance/students-with-disabilities.html

Etiquette for Working with Students with Disabilities
Source: Best Colleges
Link: www.bestcolleges.com/resources/disability-etiquette/

Students with Disabilities in the College Classroom
Source: HEATH Resource Center at the National Youth Transitions Center
Link: www.heath.gwu.edu/students-disabilities-college-classroom

College for Students with Disabilities: A Guide for Students, Families, and Educators
Source: Maryville University
Link: online.maryville.edu/disabilities-guide/

Tips for Teaching Students with Disabilities
Source: The University of Wyoming — University Disability Support Services
Link: www.uwyo.edu/wind/echo OR www.uwyo.edu/wind/index.html

Invisible Disabilities and Postsecondary Education
Source: DO IT Center, University of Washington
Link: www.washington.edu/doit/invisible-disabilities-and-postsecondary-education
Related Video – Captioned and Audio Described (18:44 minutes)
Link: www.washington.edu/doit/videos/index.php?vid=36

How to Teach and Accommodate
Source: University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Link: www.umassd.edu/dss/resources/faculty-staff/how-to-teach-and-accommodate/

23 Ways to Communicate with a Non-Verbal Child
Source: Special Needs Resources
Link: www.friendshipcircle.org/blog/2013/04/16/23-ways-to-communicate-with-a-non-verbal-child/

Instructional Strategies
Source: Understood: for Learning & Attention Issues
Link: www.understood.org/en/school-learning/partnering-with-childs-school/instructional-strategies

At a Glance: Classroom Accommodations for Nonverbal Learning Disabilities
Source: Understood: for Learning & Attention Issues
Link: www.understood.org/en/school-learning/partnering-with-childs-school/instructional-strategies/at-a-glance-classroom-accommodations-for-nonverbal-learning-disabilities

Customizing the Lesson Using Presentation Material and Interactive Exercises

There are three sets of resources provided that can be woven together to customize the learning experience, depending on your goals as a facilitator for this lesson on The ADA in the Community (e.g., providing a very simple introduction versus teaching the basics as a platform for having students engage in deeper learning about complex examples). These include: (1) advance preparation material that students can review; (2) a set of PowerPoint slides that can be used in a presentation and discussion format; and (3) a set of interactive exercises to stimulate applied learning, creativity, and deeper thinking about the concepts.

1.             Advance Preparation Material for Students

This lesson provides a very simple, high-level overview of ADA in the community. The goal is to introduce students to the idea that community settings should be accessible, but that there are ways in which they may need to advocate when they encounter common barriers or attitudes of others. Suggested resources for advance preparation include readings and videos about common barriers and resources for increasing inclusion.

As noted, these materials can be provided in advance to students, or if the class session is long enough, they may be used in class prior to presenting the PowerPoint slides and getting into a specific discussion of the ADA. Alternatively, they could be used as both advance preparation (pre-homework) and repeated in class to reinforce the learning.

2.            PowerPoint Slides

The PowerPoint slides can be used in class to provide an overview of ADA in the Community. Combined with the interactive exercises, the presentation can be extended to cover a long class session or multiple smaller class sessions. The slides can also be presented on their own as part of a short lesson on “ADA in the Community.”

3.            Interactive Exercises

Several interactive exercises are provided to engage the students in considering specific examples that relate to the material “ADA in the Community”. For example, while the presentation material explains that the ADA requires accessible community settings, services, and programs and discusses some examples, some of the interactive exercises lead the students to practice how to respond when they encounter barriers that should not be there or people that do not want to remove barriers. Therefore, the exercise provides a concrete lesson on identifying barriers and asking for better access showing how the ADA is a law that promotes community living and participation.

 

 

SECTION 3: Suggested Advance Preparation for Facilitators

Readings

Smart Phone Apps for Communication (PDF)
Source: Southeast ADA Center
Link: adaselfadvocacy.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/smart-phone-apps.pdf

Community and Work Participation Disparities for People with Disabilities…A Program of the Americans with Disabilities Act Participatory Action Research Consortium (ADA-PARC)
Source: Center on Disability
Link: centerondisability.org/ada_parc/

Community Living and Participation for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: What the Research Tells Us (PDF)
Source: Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) and the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD)
Link: tash.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/CommunityLivingPaper-Final-1.pdf

Inclusion Resources from the CDC Department on Disability and Health

Olmstead: Community Integration for Everyone
In 2009, The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division launched an aggressive effort to enforce the Supreme Court’s decision in Olmstead v. L.C., a ruling that requires states to eliminate unnecessary segregation of persons with disabilities and to ensure that persons with disabilities receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs.
Source:
U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Link: www.ada.gov/olmstead/index.htm

Olmstead Decision: News and Information
Source: Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Inc.
Link: www.olmsteadrights.org/about-olmstead/

Project Civic Access
Justice Department’s Project Civic Access, a wide-ranging effort to ensure that counties, cities, towns, and villages comply with the ADA by eliminating physical and communication barriers that prevent people with disabilities from participating fully in community life.
Source:
U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Link: www.ada.gov/civicac.htm

Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS)
Source: Federal Communication Commission
Link: www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/telecommunications-relay-service-trs

711 for Telecommunications Relay Service
Source: Federal Communication Commission
Link: www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/711-telecommunications-relay-service

Movie Captioning and Audio Description Final Rule
Source: U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Link: www.ada.gov/regs2016/movie_captioning_rule_page.html

Pedestrian Information Brief: Ways to Support Accessible, Safe Pedestrian Paths to Transportation and Service Centers
Source:
National Aging and Disability Transportation Center
Link: www.nadtc.org/resources-publications/resource/ways-to-support-accessible-safe-pedestrian-paths-to-transportation-and-service-centers-information-brief/

Involving Youth with Disabilities in Community Service Activities (Article)
Source: Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
Link: ici.umn.edu/products/impact/192/over8.html

Web Courses

Foundations of the Americans with Disabilities Act Web Course (Southeast ADA Center)

Source: Southeast ADA Center
Link:
bit.ly/foundations-ada-course

The ADA Foundations (bit.ly/foundations-ada-course) is a comprehensive web course designed to increase your knowledge and understanding of the core concepts about the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA). The web course has been developed to help you learn about the important concepts of the ADA and to think about inclusive solutions for people with disabilities in the workplace, state and local government programs, and private businesses.

Learning Objectives
Upon completion of this web course, you will be able to:

  • Discuss the purpose of the ADA using a civil rights framework.
  • Identify the five titles of the ADA.
  • Provide a basic overview of each title of the ADA.
  • Define the general nondiscrimination requirements of the ADA.
  • Explain each nondiscrimination requirement using 1-2 real-life examples.
  • Identify the defenses or limitations of each nondiscrimination requirement.
  • Identify the federal agencies responsible for enforcing each title of the ADA.
  • Locate and use resources for information on the ADA.

SECTION 4: Suggested Advance Preparation for Students

The following advanced reading assignments and video excerpts can be assigned to students to prepare them for learning about The ADA in the Community

Readings

Smart Phone Apps for Communication (PDF)
Source: Southeast ADA Center
Link: adaselfadvocacy.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/smart-phone-apps.pdf

ADA Overview Factsheet
Source: National ADA Center
Link: adata.org/factsheet/ADA-overview

Older Adults and the ADA (PDF)
These resources explain the ADA and basic rights of people with disabilities, not just older adults.
Source:
Southeast ADA Center
Link: adalive.org/resources/episode-105b-resources/

The Right to Community Integration for People with Disabilities Under United States and International Law
Source: Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)
Link: dredf.org/news/publications/disability-rights-law-and-policy/the-right-to-community-integration-for-people-with-disabilities-under-united-states-and-international-law/

 

 

SECTION 5: Presentation

Pre-Module for the Training Facilitator:

Facilitator Note: Record responses during this activity and save the list for an activity at the end of this module.

“Think of the community where you live. Now, think of places you would like to go and things you would like to do out in your community. For people with disabilities, there may be places they do not go and things they do not do in the community. This happens because a person with a disability might have problems getting into a place or getting what they want or need at that place. Are there things in the community that people with disabilities might not do because they think that activity would not include them or that they would not be able to participate in certain activities or programs?”

“Let’s make a list of any places in the community where we think people with disabilities would have problems going. Let’s also list of things in the community in which we think people with disabilities might not be able to participate or enjoy.”

Record all responses from the group.

“Today we are going to learn about the Americans with Disabilities Act and access to the community.”

Facilitator Note: Use the Module 8 PowerPoint slides, Pathways to Careers…. Toward an Accessible Community.

 

 

Module 8 PowerPoint slides, Pathways to Careers… The ADA in the Community

Slide 1 – Pathways to Careers…. Toward an Accessible Community

Slide 1 Notes – Pathways to Careers…. Toward an Accessible Community

Objective: The student will be introduced to major points of emphasis in ADA Title II and Title III.

Facilitator Talking Points:

Today we are going to learn about The ADA in the Community.

 

 

Slide 2 – Because of the ADA…

Slide 2 Notes – Because of the ADA…

Objective: The student will learn about the right to live in an accessible community, which is found in ADA Title II and Title III.

Facilitator Talking Points:

Before the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed, there were no rules allowing people with disabilities to have equal access to their community like non-disabled people. Stores and restaurants were not accessible. People who used wheelchairs could not get into the shop, let alone be able to buy what they wanted. People with disabilities couldn’t easily go to a park or be part of a summer camp program. Most importantly, people with disabilities couldn’t participate in local government because they couldn’t get into city hall, or didn’t have court documents in an accessible format. In this module, we will look at several ways that the ADA ensures that people with disabilities are able to have equal access in their community.

 

 

Slide 3 – Moving Around in the Community

Slide 3 Notes – Moving Around in the Community

Objective: The student will learn how the ADA allows people to move safely around their community.

Facilitator Talking Points:

Audible crosswalk signals allow people who are blind to safely cross intersections. The signals often sound like a bird chirp. Audible signals can let people know when it is safe to walk. Crosswalk controls must be low enough for wheelchair users or little people to use them. All of these systems also help people who are not blind by allowing them to better judge when it is safe to walk.

Curb cuts at intersections and other places where people need to travel allow people with physical disabilities and people who use wheelchairs to travel safely on sidewalks. Curb cuts eliminate barriers created by regular curbs that separate the street from the sidewalk. You may have noticed at crosswalks that there are areas or plates on the ground with raised bumps. These bumps help people who are blind know when they are entering an area where cars travel.

Ramps are used when there is a large change in height from one level to another. Ramps allow people who use wheelchairs or have other mobility impairment to get into stores, restaurants, and other buildings.

Sidewalks must be wide enough for individuals who use wheelchairs to pass each other.

Accessible parking spaces allow people who have disabilities to park close to the place they are going. Accessible parking allows greater access for people who have disabilities to all areas of their community.

Slide 4 – Getting Around the Community: Accessible Transportation

Slide 4 Notes – Getting Around the Community: Accessible Transportation

Objective: The student will learn about accessible public transportation resources.

Facilitator Talking Points:

Under the ADA, public transportation services must be accessible for people with disabilities. Public transportation means bus services, subways, light rail and commuter rail services, ferryboats, shuttle and taxi services. All of these services must be fully accessible for people with disabilities. Accessible transportation includes platforms that allow people to easily board trains, wheelchair lifts on buses, low entry or “kneeling” buses that allow people to easily board. Buses and subways should also provide convenient seating for people at the front or closest entrance.

Taxi and shuttle services also have to be accessible for people with disabilities. This would include van services and lifts on vehicles for wheelchair users.

Public transportation services also must provide “paratransit” services. Paratransit is for people who cannot use the regular bus or train system. These services allow people to be picked up at their door and delivered to the door of their destination. In order to use a paratransit service, individuals must qualify by showing they cannot use a regular service due to their disability.

Slide 5 – Government Programs and Services

Slide 5 Notes – Government Programs and Services

Objective: The student will learn how the ADA applies to local and state government programs and services.

Facilitator Talking Points:

Libraries are one of the greatest things your community can provide. Long before anybody ever thought about the ADA, libraries were places of equal access to information. Today, libraries continue to be a place where anybody can go and equally use the library services. Since libraries are a function of local government, they must make sure their buildings, services, and the way they do business is equal for all people.

A public park is another service your community provides. Playgrounds must be accessible for all people. Tables and facilities must be accessible. Parks must be free of barriers. There is still a long way to go but our communities must work toward making sure that everybody can use their facilities.

Under the ADA, communities must also guarantee that people who are deaf, people who are blind, or people who have physical disabilities can participate in local government. This includes providing sign language interpreters, note takers, written material in Braille or large print, and audio recordings. Websites and online forms should also be accessible and usable by individuals with disabilities.

Finally, the most important thing we do as citizens is to vote. Voting is how we decide what laws we need and who will represent us in government. The ADA ensures that we all have the opportunity to vote by making sure voting locations are accessible, voter registration is fair, voting booths are accessible, and easy to use. If voting locations are not accessible, governments must use alternate methods so people with disabilities can vote.

 

Slide 6 – Effective Communication with Businesses and Government Agencies

Slide 6 Notes – Effective Communication with Businesses and Government Agencies

Objective: The student will learn how businesses must make every effort to communicate with customers.

Facilitator Talking Points:

The ADA requires that businesses and governments effectively communicate with people who use or purchase their goods and services. People who are deaf, for instance, may communicate through written word, sign language, or spoken word. Someone who is blind may rely on spoken word rather than written word.

Governments must communicate in the preferred way a person with a disability chooses to communicate. Businesses must consider the person’s preference; however, the business makes the final decision. A business must make sure that the communication method works effectively. The business staff and the person with a disability must be able to understand and express his/herself.

  • A person who is blind may read Braille, use audio recording, use large print, audio description, or use technology such as a smart phone app.
    • Braille: The National Federation for the Blind defines Braille as “a system of reading and writing by touch used by the blind. It consists of arrangements of dots which make up letters of the alphabet, numbers, and punctuation marks.” (Source: https://nfb.org/images/nfb/publications/fr/fr15/issue1/f150113.html)
    • Large Print: The American Printing House for the Blind recommends sans-serif font such as Arial or Tahoma with a minimum of 18 points for large print. (http://www.aph.org/research/design-guidelines/) Some individuals may need a larger font or prefer a specific font.
    • Audio Description: The American Council of the Blind defines audio description as “narration added to the soundtrack to describe important visual details that cannot be understood from the main soundtrack alone. Audio description is a means to inform individuals who are blind or who have low vision about visual content essential for comprehension. Audio description of video provides information about actions, characters, scene changes, on-screen text, and other visual content. Audio description supplements the regular audio track of a program. Audio description is usually added during existing pauses in dialogue.” (www.acb.org/adp/ad.html#what)
  • Someone who is deaf or hard of hearing may use a sign language interpreter, Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), write notes, or read lips.
    • Sign Language Interpreter: If you need a sign language interpreter, be sure to ask for one before you go to an appointment. A business or government agency will need time to contact the interpreter and schedule for him/her to be there.
    • Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART): CART is also known as real-time captioning. A person trained to do CART, types what is being said onto a computer screen for the person with the disability to read.
    • Written Notes: You may choose to write notes in some situations. If you have a question about a shirt when shopping at a store, writing notes back and forth with the salesperson might be OK. If you want to buy a car, writing notes might not be the best way to communicate. You may want to choose another method such as a sign language interpreter.
    • Lip Reading: It is your choice as to whether or not you want to rely on lip reading to communicate with a business or government agency. Even though you may use lip reading in conversations with family and friends, it may not be the best way to communicate in all situations.

Today, smart phones have made it easier than ever for people who have difficulty communicating to communicate. Many apps assist people who are Deaf, blind, or have a speech disability. (See Resource: Smart Phone Apps for Communication [adaselfadvocacy.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/smart-phone-apps.pdf])

The most important thing to remember is that government agencies and businesses have a responsibility to communicate with people with disabilities that works for both people.

Slide 7 – Telephones and Relay Service

Slide 7 Notes – Telephones and Relay Service

Objective: The student will understand how the ADA allows us to communicate and be safe.

Facilitator Talking Points:

  • In your lifetime, the world has experienced amazing changes that have affected the way we communicate. Just a few years ago, people could only use phones to make voice calls. It has only been in the last ten years or so that we have been able to text messages from our phone. Today, we take it for granted that we can send a text message to someone anytime we want.
  • Sometimes only a phone conversation will do. If you have difficulty speaking or hearing, the ADA provides several ways that you can “talk” on the phone.

Relay services allow someone who is Deaf to communicate with someone who can hear by using a third person to carry on the conversation. Relay provides the following services.

  • TTY (Text Telephone) – A standard telephone with a typewriter-style keyboard, screen, and printer for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or have difficulty speaking.
  • Voice Carry-Over (VCO) – For those who can speak clearly, yet have hearing loss significant enough to keep them from understanding what is being said over a standard telephone.
  • Hearing Carry-Over (HCO) – For people with significant speech difficulties who can hear what is being said over the phone.
  • Speech-To-Speech (STS) – For people with mild-to-moderate speech difficulties who can hear what is being said over the phone.
  • Video Relay Service (VRS) – Makes it possible for sign language users to communicate in their native language via video conferencing.
  • CapTel® – Uses the latest in voice recognition software to display every word the caller says.
  • Spanish Relay – For Spanish-speaking Relay users.
  • Customer Profile – Create a personal profile that lets the Relay Communications Assistant (CA) automatically know your communications preferences.
  • Voice Users – Learn how easy it is to communicate by phone with Relay users.
  • Additional Features – Includes ASCII, voicemail retrieval, and more.
  • In another important feature, if someone needs emergency help, the ADA makes sure they can get it from 911.

 

Slide 8 – Shop in Stores and Eat in Restaurants

Slide 8 Notes – Shop in Stores and Eat in Restaurants

Objective: The student will learn about the rights and responsibilities they have at stores and restaurants.

Facilitator Talking Points:

We all like to go out to eat with our family or our friends. When we go to a restaurant, the tables and chairs must allow a person in a wheelchair to sit comfortably at the same table with our family or friends. Restaurants must also assist us in ordering. For example, if you are blind, you can ask the server to read the menu to you.

You may enjoy shopping for new clothes. We want to be able to buy the things we need on our own. The ADA helps us do this by ensuring that stores are accessible. For instance, aisles in stores must be wide enough for people who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices to easily get around. Products on store shelves should be placed at a level where someone with limited mobility can reach them. If you need assistance to reach an item, a store employee should assist you when you request help. Stores must communicate with you in a way that you understand. If you use a service animal, stores and restaurants must allow you to enter with your service dog.

Slide 9– Enjoy Places of Entertainment

Slide 9 Notes – Enjoy Places of Entertainment

Objective: The student will learn that movies, concerts, and sporting events must be accessible.

Facilitator Talking Points: You have rights under the ADA when you go to movies, concerts, or sporting events. Places that we go for entertainment must provide preferred seats in various locations for people who have disabilities and for up to three of their friends. Places of entertainment must allow you to buy tickets accessible in the same manner as any other tickets are sold, including online, during the same hours, and distributed throughout the venue.

Stadiums and sports arenas must make sure that people who are blind or D/deaf can fully participate in the event. Closed captioning, assisted listening devices, and captioning on video display screens are some examples that arenas use to improve the experience of fans with disabilities. As you see in the picture on this slide, a captioning device allows the person who is deaf to enjoy the movie.

Post Module for the Training Facilitator:

Facilitator Note: From the Pre-Module activity, review the lists of places in the community that people with disabilities would have problems going and doing things to do in the community in which people with disabilities might not be able to participate or enjoy.

“Now that we have finished this module on the ADA and access to the community, are there places or things on these lists that we want to cross off since we now know that people with disabilities have a right to advocate for accessibility and inclusion in the community?” (Make a strike through any item on the list that the group agrees does not belong there. For any items that remain, ask if anyone can think of a way that this could be made accessible to, or inclusive of, people with disabilities.)

 

 

SECTION 6: Learning Activities

For the Training Facilitator:

Facilitator Note: Learning activities have been designed to reinforce the content from the PowerPoint presentation. A menu of activities has been provided. You may choose one or more activities based upon the time that you have to present the material and upon the needs of the students. For each interactive activity designed to reinforce the content from the PowerPoint presentation, suggested time frames are included below. Please keep in mind the age of your youth as well as the individual skill levels and specific disabilities to allow time frames that are appropriate for your group.

Activity #1 Group Discussion

Facilitator Note: Please allow time frames for these discussions and activities that are appropriate for the size of the group and the makeup of the group. Please be flexible if the discussion or the sharing is productive, and the participants are actively engaged.

Activity: “An Inclusive Community”

Time: 15 minutes or more
Facilitator Script: “An inclusive community respects and values all of the people who live, work, and play in that community. In an inclusive community, people have access to the goods, services, and resources that the community provides. That means the inclusive community has eliminated as many problems, barriers, and obstacles as possible so that everyone has the opportunity to participate in everything in the community.”

“What does an inclusive community look like? Let’s think about the grocery store in the community.”

  • What does the entrance to your local grocery store look like?” (No-step entrance, doors that open for you, etc.)
  • Can anyone think of another place in the community that has an entrance that is also easy for everyone and inclusive?

“Now let’s think of an intersection and safely crossing the street. In an inclusive community, what are some things that would help everyone in the community to be safe while crossing the street?”

Examples:

  • Curb cuts to eliminate stepping down or stepping up when crossing the street to assist people with mobility limitations, balance problems, and everyone who can easily miss a step! Curb cuts can also assist people with wheeled luggage, briefcases, baby strollers, grocery carts, delivery hand truck, etc.
  • Detectable warnings (the bumps that are on the curb cut) to alert everyone that you are walking into the street—anyone can get distracted!
  • Audible signals for anyone who cannot clearly see the traffic lights—sometimes the sun is in our eyes —or a person cannot see the lights at all.
  • Visible countdown signals or other “Don’t Walk” warnings that alert anyone who cannot hear the traffic and may not know if it is safe to cross.

“Now let’s think about public transportation and getting around in an inclusive community. On the public bus or light-rail system, what features would make the public transportation system inclusive and easier for everyone to use?”

Examples:

  • Kneeling busses to create a no-step entrance so that everyone can board easily and not miss a step.
  • An exterior button on the light-rail car so that anyone can independently request the ramp when entering, and an interior button to request the ramp for exiting.
  • Automated announcements that alert everyone about where the public transit is on its route, and what the upcoming stops will be. (Anyone can get involved in conversation and miss a stop!)
  • Overhead scrolling announcements to provide visible information for anyone who cannot hear the audible announcements, or when it is just too loud on the crowded public transit.

Facilitator Note: If public transportation is not available in your community, this example would not be applicable.

“What about restaurants in an inclusive community? What would you find there to make it easier for everyone in the community to enjoy that restaurant?”

Examples:

  • No-step entrances, wide aisles to get around the tables, etc.
  • Signage indicating accessible features.
  • Accessible restrooms.
  • Menus in alternate formats, such as large print or Braille.
  • Wait staff who are trained to provide sighted-guide assistance, if requested.
  • Wait staff who are trained to read the menu, if requested.
  • Wait staff who are trained to communicate with anyone who cannot hear or speak clearly. (Pointing to menu items, writing short notes, and showing patience!)
  • Staff who are trained to use relay telephone communications.
  • Staff who are trained about service animals.

“What about going to the movies in an inclusive community? What features would allow everyone to enjoy the movies together?”

Examples:

  • No-step entrances, no-step paths of travel, accessible seating, etc.
  • Signage indicating accessible features.
  • Accessible restrooms.
  • Equipment to provide captioning for anyone who has trouble hearing the conversation in the movie.
  • Audio description for anyone who has trouble seeing the actions and visual parts of the movie, and anyone who finds it difficult to catch details in the plot or actions of the movie.
  • Warnings about loud noise levels for people who have service animals or people who are sensitive to high noise levels.

“What about voting in an inclusive community? In any community, it is important to include all of the people who can vote in the decision-making processes that affect their lives. What are some ways that voting can be inclusive of everyone who can vote?”

Examples:

  • No-step entrances, no-step paths of travel, accessible seating, etc.
  • Accessible voting machines for anyone who would like to have the ballot read to them and marked for them.
  • Lowered voting booths for anyone who is seated or needs to be seated while voting, or anyone short of stature.
  • Poll workers who are trained to provide sighted-guide assistance, if requested.
  • Poll workers who are trained to communicate with anyone who cannot hear or speak clearly. (Pointing or gesturing, writing short notes, pictures, or ballot examples, and showing patience!)
  • Poll workers who are trained to understand service animals.

Activity #2 Art Projects & Musical Expression

Art Projects

Facilitator Note: If your group is engaged by art activities, such as drawing, painting, collages, murals, etc., you might use art materials to do the following. Please keep in mind the age of your students as well as the individual skill levels and specific disabilities to allow time frames that are appropriate for your group. If members of your group have difficulty manipulating art materials, such as students who have difficulty using scissors due to limited hand dexterity, consider working in partners or small groups.

If your group is made up of students with varying levels of vision loss, consider having students with low vision work as partners or in small groups with students with total vision loss.  Using materials such as magazines, advertising flyers, brochures, pamphlets, etc., have the students with low vision audio describe the pictures and words that the partners or small groups might decide to use in a collage or mural.  If your group is made up of students with total vision loss, consider using the Musical Expression activity with your group.

Activity: “My Inclusive Community”

Time: 15 minutes or more
Facilitator Note: If your group is especially engaged by art activities, such as drawing, painting, collages, murals, etc., you might use art materials to do the following. Please keep in mind the age of your youth as well as the individual skill levels and specific disabilities to allow time frames that are appropriate for your group. If you have members of your group who will have difficulty manipulating art materials, such as youth who have difficulty using scissors due to limited hand dexterity, consider working in partners or small groups.

Facilitator Note: Using any art materials and a large piece of paper (drawing paper, flip-chart pages, etc.), have each person create a picture as follows.

“What do you think of when you hear the words ‘My Inclusive Community’? Do you think of something you want to have in your inclusive community because it is important to you? On the other hand, do you think of something you want to have in your inclusive community because it is important for a family member or friend or someone else in your community?

Using these art materials, create a picture that shows one or more things that are very important to you in order to have an inclusive community. When I call time, we will get back together to share our pictures, and to share what we chose as the important things that we want for our inclusive community.”

Facilitator Note: If you have members of your group who will have difficulty creating artwork by themselves, consider having the group work in pairs or small groups of 3 to 4 members. You may change the assignment to “Our Inclusive Community” so that each person can contribute ideas to the final picture.

Musical Expression

Facilitator Note: If your group is engaged by musical expression, you might want to use activities such as singing, simple musical instruments, percussion instruments, drumming, etc.  The activity of drumming can be done using plastic buckets or containers, or using hands on table tops.  Please keep in mind the age of your students as well as the individual skill levels and specific disabilities to allow time frames that are appropriate for your group.

Activity: “My Inclusive Community”

Time: 15 minutes or more
Facilitator Note
:  This musical expression activity follows a “Call and Response” format.  Using any object as the “Musical Wand,” each person in the circle or group can only “perform” when that person has possession of the Musical Wand.

The first person who is given the Musical Wand has to call out in song a place to go in the community in the following format:

  • “I want to go to the grocery store. What do I need?”

Then the Musical Wand is immediately passed to anyone else in the group, and the person who receives the Musical Wand has to sing out a feature that would give someone access and inclusion at that place using the following format:

  • “I need automatic doors.” or
  • “I need no steps to get inside.” or
  • “I need someone to reach the high shelves.” or
  • “I need someone to be my sighted guide.” or
  • “I need someone to load my car.”

The members of the group continue to pass the Musical Wand around as long as someone has a response to add that names a new feature that a person might need for access and inclusion at that place.

Then the activity starts all over, and another person is given the Musical Wand and has to call out in song a place to go in the community in the same format.

Facilitator Note: If your group needs prompts for places to go in the community, you might use any of the following as the “Call” for prompting responses from your group:

  • “I want to go to my favorite restaurant. What do I need?”
  • “I want to go to the movies. What do I need?”
  • “I want to go to the City Park. What do I need?”
  • “I want to go on the public bus. What do I need?”
  • “I want to go to the polls to vote. What do I need?”
  • “I want to go to my neighborhood library. What do I need?”

Think about places in your community that the members of your group might be familiar with and include those places in this activity.

Activity #3 Dramatic Arts

Facilitator Note: If your group is especially engaged by dramatic arts, such as role plays, skits, improvisation, etc., you might use dramatic arts activities.

Activity: “Advocacy in the Community”

Time: 15 minutes or more
Facilitator Note: Using partners or small groups, have each pair or each small group create a skit about one of the following scenarios, and act out the skit in front of the group. Following each dramatic arts performance, ask for feedback from the group about the advocacy techniques shown in the skit. Ask the group if they have any suggestions for the situation shown in the skit.

Scenario #1: Your small group is planning a trip to the public library to do research on a project and to find resources. Everyone in the group is responsible for a different section of the project. Since one of your group members has low vision and uses a screen reader on the computer and audio materials, you decide to visit the public library ahead of time to talk to a staff member and find out if these will be available. When you find out that these features are not available at this public library location, what do you do to advocate for yourself and your group? Remember, you will have to get your own work done when your group visits the public library.

Scenario #2: You and three of your friends want to get tickets at the local sports arena for an upcoming big concert. Your friends have given you the money for their tickets. You volunteered to go to the box office to get the tickets. Since one of your friends uses a manual wheelchair and all of you want to sit together to enjoy the concert, you ask the box office person for 4 tickets in the accessible seating section. The person in the box office glares at you, and says you do not look like you need a ticket for the accessible seating area. As you try to explain, the box office person continues to give you a hard time and is very impatient with you. What will you do to advocate on behalf of yourself and your group so your entire group can be seated together for the concert?

Scenario #3: A group of friends in your neighborhood would like to meet in a nearby park for a picnic. The park has an accessible table in the picnic area of the park, so it would be an ideal place for your group since several of your neighborhood friends use a manual or a power wheelchair. In addition, two of your friends have low vision and travel with canes. The problem is that there is a very busy intersection that your group will have to cross to get from your neighborhood to the park. There are also missing curb cuts and no detectable warnings at that intersection. Both of these will be important for your group to cross the intersection safely. You decide to meet with a person in the City Streets Department to explain what your group needs, but the person is dismissive and immediately say “No, we can’t do that!” What do you do now to advocate for yourself and your neighborhood group?

Scenario #4: You and two of your friends want to go to a popular restaurant. You have heard really good things about it. All of you have trouble reading because of autism or learning disabilities, but you all decide to ask the wait staff person to read the menu for you. When your wait staff person arrives at your table and you make the request to read the menu for your group, the wait staff person replies, “Oh, come on! I saw you guys come in, and you didn’t have any problems finding your way to your table—you can all see the menu!” How do you explain your need for assistance without having to disclose personal information that will make you and your friends feel uneasy? Also, how do you win this person over so that you can get the help you and your friends need to enjoy dining at this restaurant?

Scenario #5: You want to go with your friends to see a play at a local community theater, but you know you will need a sign language interpreter to be able to enjoy the play. You do not want to be left out and tell your friends that you have other plans for that evening as you have done so often in the past. How will you approach this community theater and ask for a sign language interpreter? What if you ask, but the theater person says, “We can’t do that—sign language interpreters cost a lot of money, and you are only paying for one ticket!”

Scenario #6: You are voting for the first time and have just been given your ballot. Because you have a visual processing disability, you planned to use the accessible voting machine so it will read the ballot to you and mark the ballot correctly for you. When you tell the poll worker that you want to use the accessible voting machine, the poll worker tells you, “No, that voting machine is reserved for people who cannot see to vote. Let me show you to one of the regular voting booths.” Since you know that this will not work for you, what do you say to the poll worker?

Scenario #7: Your best friend is a person who is Deaf and travels with a service animal to alert her/him to things s/he does not hear. You want to go with your friend to try out a brand-new Mexican restaurant. You decide to visit the restaurant first to make sure the staff understands about service animals. When you try to explain to the staff member that you will be coming back with your friend and a service dog, the staff member replies, “Oh, no—we don’t allow dogs in the restaurant. You will have to sit outside in the patio area!” Knowing that it may be rainy or windy and that the service dog is allowed in the restaurant because of the ADA, you do not want to agree to this. What do you do?

Scenario #8: You and your group of friends all have low vision or total vision loss. There is no option for attending first-run movies with audio description in your community. You and your friends feel left out when everyone is talking about the latest big blockbuster movie. You decide to make a plan to approach one of the many large movie theaters with multiple screens to request the addition of equipment to show movies with audio description. When you meet with the theater manager, that person has no idea about what you are requesting. What does your group do now?

Scenario #9: You have a favorite store where you like to shop. One thing that really bothers you is that the store staff routinely set up displays in the aisles. You know that this will be a problem for your friends who use mobility devices or who have vision loss and may trip over unexpected obstacles in the aisles. Today, you decide to talk to a store manager about this problem. What do you plan to say? What if the store manager simply shrugs you off and says, “We have to set up displays somewhere!” Now, what do you do?

Scenario #10: You really like meeting your friends at an arcade at a shopping center in your community. Your Mom drives an accessible van and she does not want to go there since there is never an accessible parking space for her to drop you off or to wait for you when picking you up. You and your group of friends decide to go to the shopping center one weekend and to count all the parking spaces to see if the shopping center has enough accessible parking spaces. After your group does the research, you discover that the shopping center needs to add 6 more accessible spaces. What do you plan to do with this information? Who do you plan to talk to? What will you and your group say?

Activity#4 Role Models

Facilitator Note: For young people with disabilities, it is very important to identify with role models who are people with disabilities living independently in the community. Sources for finding role models that may serve as guest speakers in class include:

Activity 4A: “And Now, A Word from the Real World”

Time: 5–15 minutes
Facilitator Note
: Invite a speaker or a small panel of 2 to 4 people with disabilities to briefly share about a time when they had to advocate for something they needed in the community. Then allow time for the group to ask questions and dialogue with the role model(s).

Activity 4B: Virtual Reality—”A Word from the Real World”

Time: 5 – 15 minutes
Facilitator Note
: Using Zoom or a similar platform, invite a speaker or a small panel of 2 to 4 people with disabilities to briefly share about a time when they had to advocate for something they needed in the community. Then allow time for the group to ask questions and dialogue with the role model(s).

SECTION 7: Handouts or Materials Needed

  • Audiovisual equipment for PowerPoint presentation and/or videos.
  • Art materials, blank paper, colored pencils or markers, rubber ball, and a bottle of liquid bubbles (Activity 1).
  • Photocopies of PowerPoint slides, including alternate formats such as large print, Braille, and electronic formats, such as a USB drive for students with visual or print disabilities.

SECTION 8: After Class

Homework Possibilities

Visit one place in the community (examples: restaurant, store, park, bank, library, movie theater, etc.). Choose one of the following activities:

  1. Identify one barrier or obstacle to accessibility at the place you visited, or;
  2. Identify one problem that will prevent people with disabilities from being included or being able to participate fully in the things that happen at the place you visited.

During the next session, we will share the barriers and problems we identified in the community.

Possible Group Activity

Facilitator Note: You may wish to provide a self-advocacy experience for students that would allow them to follow up on the barriers and problems that the group has identified in the community.

If you would like to provide a self-advocacy experience your students, consider using the guide, ADA: Starting the Conversation with a Business.
Link: adata.org/americans-disabilities-act-starting-conversation-business

The ADA: Starting the Conversation with a Business, is a guide that people with disabilities can use to give a business feedback about their accessibility. This is not an assessment of ADA compliance. It is a tool to start a conversation about 1-2 steps a business could take to make their business more accessible to and usable by their customers with disabilities.

Using this guide, a team of people with disabilities can offer a business:

  • Specific information on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA);
  • Feedback on making their business more accessible; and
  • Follow-up to track changes and improvements.

 

Quiz Questions

Use these quiz questions to reinforce learning by giving this pop quiz at the end of class, as a homework assignment, or at the beginning of the next class session. Correct answers are noted with an asterisk (*).

  1. The ADA only applies to employment.
  • Yes
  • No*
  1. Audible crosswalk signs help all people to cross streets safely.
  • Yes*
  • No
  1. Public transportation systems must be accessible to people with disabilities.
  • Yes*
  • No
  1. Paratransit systems are for people who cannot ride public transportation due to a disability.
  • Yes*
  • No
  1. The ADA ensures that people with disabilities have equal access to voting locations.
  • Yes*
  • No
  1. Business and governments must make every effort to communicate with people in the way the person with a disability chooses.
  • Yes*
  • No
  1. Restaurants and stores must allow service dogs into their stores.
  • Yes*
  • No
  1. Audio description allows people who are blind to enjoy a movie or show.
  • Yes*
  • No
  1. Arenas, stadiums and theaters must provide accessible seating for wheelchair users.
  • Yes*
  • No
  1. Governments must allow equal access for you to enjoy programs and services.
  • Yes*
  • No

SECTION 9: Resources for Students

Additional Reading and Videos

Community Life Resources
(Located under Topics/Categories tab on the website)

Topics that address the various needs of individuals with disabilities across the lifespan as they pertain to living in the community. Browse full site to search for information on related topics.
Source:
Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
Link: rtc.umn.edu/valuinglives/resources.html

Disability Is Natural Website
The mission of Disability is Natural is to encourage new ways of thinking about developmental disabilities, in the belief that our attitudes drive our actions, and changes in our attitudes and actions can help create a society where all children and adults with developmental disabilities have opportunities to live the lives of their dreams, included in all areas of life.
Link: www.disabilityisnatural.com

ADA Live! Podcasts
ADA Live! is a free monthly show broadcast nationally on the Internet. Learn about your rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Leaders in the field will share their knowledge, experience, and successful strategies that increase the participation of persons with disabilities in communities and businesses. Listen to the archived podcasts or read the episode transcripts. Most episodes include a list of useful of Resources. ADA Live! is produced by the Southeast ADA Center, a member of the ADA National Network and a project of the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University.
Source:
Southeast ADA National Center
Link: adalive.org

Episode 36: Voting Access: What People with Disabilities Need to Know
 Link: adalive.org/episodes/episode-36/

Episode 34: The Disability Vote – The Sleeping Giant Wakes Up!
 Link: adalive.org/episodes/episode-34/

Episode 32: Equal Access in Emergencies: During and After
 Link: adalive.org/episodes/episode-32/

Episode 20: Beach Access
 Link: adalive.org/episodes/episode-20/

Episode 14: Service Animals
 Link: adalive.org/episodes/episode-14/

Episode 4: Effective Communication
 Link: adalive.org/episodes/episode-4/

Accessible Voting Resource List (PDF)
Source: Southeast ADA Center
Link: adalive.org/resources/episode-77-resources/

State and Local Government ADA Resources (PDF)
Source: Southeast ADA Center
Link: adaselfadvocacy.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/state_local_government_ada_resources.pdf

Courtroom Accessibility Resources (PDF)
Source: Southeast ADA Center
Link: adaselfadvocacy.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/courtroom_accessibility_resources.pdf

Effective Communication Fact Sheet
Source: ADA National Network
Link: adata.org/factsheet/communication

Service Animals Fact Sheet
Source: ADA National Network
Link: adata.org/factsheet/service-animals

Accessible Parking Fact Sheet
Source: ADA National Network
Link: adata.org/factsheet/parking

ADA Quick Tips – Sign Language Interpreters
Source: ADA National Network
Link: adata.org/factsheet/sign-language-interpreters

Food Service: Accommodating Diners with Disabilities
Source: ADA National Network
Link: http://adata.org/factsheet/food-service

Employment (ADA Title I) Topic Search on ADA National Network Website
Source: ADA National Network
Link: adata.org/topic/employment-ada-title-i

Americans with Disabilities Act Information Center

ADA National Network

Phone: 1-800-949-4232 (toll free)

Website: adata.org

Facebook: facebook.com/adanetwork

Twitter: twitter.com/ADANational

National Resources

Community Organizations

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