– Rep. Jason Ortitay (R-Washington/Allegheny) today applauded state funding awarded to the South Fayette Township School District to implement disability inclusive curriculum.
It is one of 10 districts to receive funding under the Disability Inclusive Curriculum Pilot Program, which was created under legislation Ortitay authored and had signed into law last year.
“Every student deserves to feel safe and supported in their educational environment, just as every person deserves to feel safe and supported in their communities,” Ortitay said. “The best way to foster development of inclusivity is through education.”
The 10 districts included in the pilot program will teach students in kindergarten through 12th grade about the political, economic and social contributions of individuals with disabilities.
“By teaching our children about influential disabled individuals, such as Harriet Tubman, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Stephen Hawking and Michael J. Fox, we can demonstrate the profound, positive impact that disabled individuals have had on our society and work to create a more tolerant and inclusive world,” Ortitay said.
Under the program, funding will be granted for a three-year period from the date of the award through June 30, 2026. A maximum of $10,000 per year is available to each school entity. The program will impact the overall culture and environment of schools by reducing the stigma of disability by including disability as a part of a school-wide strategic plan.
To further advance inclusivity, the Pennsylvania Department of Education announced it will house a disability inclusion toolkit on its Standards Aligned System to help support school entities across the state to infuse disability inclusive curriculum into their existing curricula. The toolkit resources are inclusive of all age/grade levels and include sample lesson plans, professional development offerings/opportunities, ideas for implementing a disability inclusive curriculum, disability-led organizational contacts, and other resources.