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On August 11, 2011 Governor Jack Markell signed House Bill 123 (formally House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 19), which proclaimed the month of October to be Disability History and Awareness Month in Delaware. The bill encourages all schools during the month of October to provide instruction and events focusing on disability history, individuals with disabilities and the disability rights movement.
Fast-forward nearly two years. In June 2013, Representative Quinton Johnson, Senator Bethany Hall-Long and co-sponsor Senator Nicole Poore, introduced HCR 33. This Bill, passed on June 27, 2013, proclaimed the month of October to be Disability History and Awareness Month in Delaware with an emphasis on younger children. The Bill encouraged all Delaware center and family-based pre-schools and childcare programs to provide instruction and events focusing on disability history, people with disabilities and the disability rights movement during the month of October.
The GACEC was instrumental in the success of these pieces of legislation. From the beginning, the GACEC has supported efforts to acknowledge Disability History and Awareness Month (DHAM) by producing a resource manual with information and suggestions for teachers and parents. The GACEC also instituted an annual Disability History and Awareness Month poster contest for all Delaware public school students and established the Disability Education and Awareness Program (DEAP) to continue to provide resources on disability history and activities. The Council also produced and distributed weekly newsletters during October to all schools in Delaware, highlighting the contributions of persons with disabilities to society and disability issues and milestones in the news. DHAM and DEAP resources may be found on the GACEC website.
The GACEC knows that all citizens are very vital and valuable pieces of our community. Individuals with disabilities want the same things everyone else wants. They want to be treated with respect and understanding; to be included in society and to be given every opportunity that everyone else has been given. These are their civil rights.
Delaware’s Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens (GACEC) is passionate about providing education on Disability History and Awareness (DHA). To view our over 40-page History of Disability Timeline Click Here.
To serve that purpose, we have electronic versions of the following materials available for you to access:
To compliment Disability History & Awareness we have prepared a large document on the History of Disability online with a downloadable PDF.
Related Topics: awareness, DHA, DHAM, disability, Disability History and Awareness, Disability History and Awareness Month, GACEC, Governor's Advisory Council For Exceptional Citizens, House Concurrent Resolution 19, Rep. Quinton Johnson, Senator Bethany Hall-Long, Sybil White