On December 6, 2023, the Board of Education adopted a resolution to combat the marginalization of those with disabilities in our school community by establishing January as Disability Awareness and History Month in BUSD.Ìý This month is an opportunity to recognize and honor the contributions ofÌý those with disabilities who have enriched and inspired our nation and generate learning around the experiences of those with disabilities.
Dear Berkeley Unified Community,
On December 6, 2023, our Board of Education voted unanimously to approve January holds particular significance in Berkeley as it is the birth month of Ed Roberts, who began the disability rights movement at UC Berkeley leading to curb cuts nationwide and the development of centers for independent living.
I am proud of the work done by School Board President Ana Vasudeo and the many staff, students, and community members involved in the development of this resolution. It reflects the districtâ€™s commitment to our mission to enable and inspire our diverse student body to achieve academic excellence and make positive contributions to our world and to ensure Excellence, Equity, Engagement, and Enrichment for all students we serve.Ìý
The district recognizes that students with disabilities have a right to and have the ability to learn alongside their non-disabled peers and must be provided equitable and meaningful opportunities to learn and grow. We achieve engaging and excellent education when all of our students learn from and with each other.Ìý
Disability Awareness and History Month in BUSD is an opportunity to educate our community about the many historical contributions of those with disabilities, and to center the experiences and needs of our students and staff with disabilities. By engaging in critical conversations about disability and providing educator and family resources, we will encourage a culture of inclusion and belonging not only in January but year-round.
Join BUSD in celebrating, uplifting, and honoring the diverse histories, experiences, and voices of our disabled students, staff, and community members throughout the month. Together we canÌý disrupt the marginalization of those with disabilities and create a more equitable and inclusive school district, community, and society that will allow all students to thrive.Ìý
Enikia Ford Morthel
About the Flag
The Disability Pride Flag underwent a makeover for accessibility purposes in 2021. The parallel stripes stand for intracommunal solidarity. The colors on the flag symbolize various disability experiences. The black background mourns disabled people who have passed away. The stripeâ€™s color represents disability types:
- Red: physical disabilities
- Gold: cognitive and intellectual disabilities
- White: nonvisible and undiagnosed disabilities
- Blue: psychiatric disabilities
- Green: sensory disabilities
Read more about the flag .
Community members joined BUSD staff, students, and families at these events in celebration of Disability Awareness and History Month in BUSD.
January 25, 2024: Virtual BUSD Community Conversation on Disability Awareness and Neurodivergence
In this video, linked above, BUSD staff members share about neurodivergence and how it is addressed in teaching. Guest speakers who identify as neurodivergent share their own learning experiences. View the deck in and in .Ìý
Film Screening of Hopeville
Date: Wednesday, January 31
Time: Doors open at 5:30 pm, film starts at 6:00 pm, with Q&A panel to follow
Location: Oxford Theater (enter at 2020 Bonar St., Berkeley)
About: The North Region SELPA will host a special screening of the film , a documentary investigation into dyslexia and the shifts in literacy instruction in schools.Ìý
Reading Lists for All AgesÌýÌý
These organized by grade level, were curated by our library staff from the Schneider Book Awards, an award presented yearly by the American Library Association that honors artistic expression for the disability experience. Every school library will receive copies of some of the newest books on the lists in both English and Spanish.
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Enjoy the 2023-2024 Family Guide for celebrating Disability Awareness and History Month in BUSD.
ThisÌý 2023-2024 Teaching Guide supports educators in celebrating Disability Awareness and History Month inÌý BUSD classrooms and schools.
- Inclusion Collaborative