The Intersection Between Disabilities Awarenessand Self-Awareness - Changing Perspectives

The Intersection Between Disabilities Awareness
and Self-Awareness

Making up approximately 15% of the world’s population, people with
disabilities are the world’s largest minority. Some disabilities are
visible immediately while others may be better described as invisible.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) defines
disabilities into 13 categories. At Changing Perspectives, our disability
awareness curriculum is organized into eight broad categories of

  • Autism Spectrum
  • Cognitive Differences
  • Hearing Loss/Deafness
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Physical Disabilities
  • Social/Emotional Impairments
  • Speech/Language Disabilities
  • Visual Impairments

We believe that awareness is the foundation of empathy. In order to
inspire today’s students to become the inclusive changemakers of
tomorrow, they must develop empathy toward their peers who live
with disabilities. Engaging in disability awareness opportunities
doesn’t just help students without disabilities learn about students
with disabilities, it simultaneously promotes a greater sense of self-
awareness for everyone.

Social-emotional learning (SEL)  is interwoven in disability awareness,
will all five SEL competencies coming into play. In particular, Self-
Awareness provides students with opportunities to tune into
themselves and become mindful of their identity, emotions, strengths
and needs. Learning about others helps each of us learn more about ourselves. For students without disabilities, SEL encourages them to
reflect on their own strengths and needs as learners and people. For
students with disabilities, as they better understand themselves, they
develop greater confidence and skills around self-advocacy.

Whether or not students live with a visible or invisible disability,
gaining a greater perception of the self is a fundamental component of
lifelong success. When we explore how we are, we gain confidence in
our identities. When we gain confidence in our identities, we become
our best self-advocates. The core work of any school is not just
supporting academic growth of students but also helping students
grow socially and emotionally. Disability Awareness offers a unique
and relevant framework for accomplishing this task.

For more information about disability awareness and social-emotional
learning, please 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.

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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  •



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