A bill sponsored by New York State Sen. Mark Grisanti related to disability history and awareness education was recently approved by the New York State Senate.
The bill (S2352) will help teachers prepare students to better understand, accept and respect people with disabilities by making available to all children in grades K through 12 educational materials related to disability history and awareness.
The goal of the legislation is to promote civic responsibility, awareness and understanding of people with disabilities and will be used to help remove negative stereotypes and lead to the development of a more inclusive and tolerant society.
"I am proud and honored to sponsor this bill as it will help to put disability history and awareness curriculum inside of every classroom in New York state," Grisanti said. "It is important that we will educate all of our students and help make sure that history is not repeated so that people with disability are treated with respect."
Grisanti said the bill will also help deal with bullying, an issue that school districts across the state are focusing more attention on in recent weeks.
"As more students with disabilities are being mainstreamed into our public school systems, I feel that it is extremely critical that every classroom have easy access to the resources to educate all children on how to be more inclusive and tolerant," Grisanti said. "This legislation will assist our hardworking teachers in preparing each and every one of their students to have a better understanding of the diverse characteristics that make each of us unique."
Assemblyman Mark Schroeder sponsors the bill in the State Assembly.