At Launch, we regularly celebrate the cultures and identities of our children, families, and staff. Creating an inclusive environment that honors and uplifts the experiences and authentic selves of our students ensures that they feel seen and valued, develop an understanding and appreciation of different cultures, and are better equipped to navigate the diverse community and world in which we live. We incorporate the cultures and identities of our communities throughout our programs from the books and supplies we use and the food we eat to the learning activities and fun celebrations students, families, and staff participate in.
October is Disability Awareness Month and Filipino American History Month, and we hope the resources below will help you join Launch’s students and staff as we learn and celebrate throughout the month.
Disability Awareness Month
National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) began in 1945 as a campaign to encourage the employment of individuals with disabilities, and has grown into a celebration of the accomplishments and contributions that people with disabilities have brought to our communities. It’s a celebration led by the US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy and encourages organizations to consider how we are serving and providing access to people with disabilities in our communities, and how we might do it better.
Here at Launch, our commitment to equity for our staff, students, and families with disabilities takes a number of forms, including ensuring accessible working spaces, implementing inclusive and accommodating policies, minimizing barriers by making ASL interpretation available, from collaborating with school district special education teams on how to best support students, and providing universal design for learning in our classrooms. Part of making our communities equitable and accessible to adults with disabilities is making our educational systems welcoming to and affirming of students with disabilities, and to ensure that we are providing robust and equitable outcomes for all of our students.
If you’re looking to expand your learning on disability advocacy, we recommend the following resources:
- ASAN, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, seeks to advance the principles of the disability rights movement with regards to autism. ASAN is run by and for autistic people, and their motto is “Nothing About Us Without Us!”
- Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (2020): A documentary available on Netflix, Crip Camp tells the story of a groundbreaking summer camp for teens with disabilities that inspired a generation of radical disability rights activists who led the charge that eventually resulted in the Americans with Disabilities Act legislation in 1990.
- The Disability Visibility Project was founded by Alice Wong (she/her), a disabled activist, writer, media maker, and consultant based in San Francisco. The mission of the project is to create, amplify, and share disability media and culture.
Filipino American History Month
This month Launch also celebrates Filipino American History Month, which honors the rich history, accomplishments, cultures, and current contributions of Filipinos in the United States. Filipinos are the second largest Asian American group in the country, and have played a significant role in our nation’s past and present. This year, the Filipino American National History Society is specifically highlighting the contributions the Filipino community has made to social justice movements in the U.S., including the labor movement (in particular, the United Farm Workers movement of the 1960s), the American Indian movement, Black Lives Matter, and the civil rights movement.
Launch will be celebrating Filipino American History Month in a number of ways, including teaching students about Filipino culture, artwork, music, history, and books. We encourage you to join us in celebrating Filipino American History Month – check out the links below for resources!