Important Conversations about Diversity and Disability - Changing Perspectives

Important Conversations about Diversity and Disability

Talking about disability and other differences between us can be difficult. However awareness of differences is the foundation to empathy. These communications help support our diverse communities and social-emotional learning. While difficult, these conversations are important and the sooner we talk to students about it the better. Here are some simple strategies which help facilitate the process. 

First of all, when discussing disabilities start by talking about visible disabilities. Visible disabilities are easier for students to understand and empathize with compared to invisible disabilities. 

Then we recommend:

  • Set ground rules
    Present the students with some basic information about words to use and respecting those with disabilities.
  • Model respectful curiosity
    As always, students learn well from modelled behavior.
  • Start with Literature
    Literature is an easy way to introduce age-appropriate content about disabilities that is relatable.
  • Invite perspective
    Ask your students to talk about how they have thought about disability and how they are changing those views.
  • Create context for action learning
    Doing is a tried and true way of making content become real. 

The open-conversation process for developing awareness embodies the tenets of universal design. Everybody has challenges. Everybody has strengths. All students benefit by making connections through these discussions, and they all profit from having opportunities to develop skills they need to be successful collaborators in the diverse teams most careers now demand. 

Helping our youth support diversity, including those with disabilities, is our passion. For more information on our work please visit our website or contact us


Interested in a Workshop?

Whether a single workshop, several, or a workshop customized for you, your school, and your needs, Changing Perspectives can help.

You May Also Like…

Changing Perspectives

Changing Perspectives is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization registered in the US under EIN 46-3115902

Changing Perspectives

P.O. Box 710
Montpelier, VT 05601
P.O. Box 340664
Sacramento, CA 95834

888-870-2210  •



Share This

Share this post with your friends!