NEWS RELEASES 2010-11 :: OCTOBER 1, 2010


State Superintendent June Atkinson today highlighted October as Disability History and Awareness Month by asking local boards of education, school leaders, and teachers to engage in disability education activities in their schools and districts. There are more than 183,000 students with disabilities as classified by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) currently attending North Carolina public schools.

"Every day, thousands of students across our state face challenges such as difficulty with fitting in with peers or trouble learning course material due to a disability," said State Superintendent June Atkinson. "Understanding more about disabilities helps teachers and school leaders to better meet the unique needs of these students so they can graduate high school prepared for college, a career and a bright future."

In 2007, the N.C. General Assembly passed legislation which designated October as the state's annual Disability History and Awareness Month and directed local school boards and UNC System institutions to provide students instruction on disability history and awareness. Such measures include supplementing existing lesson plans, holding school assemblies, hosting disability focused film festivals, or organizing other activities that incorporate individuals with disabilities or knowledgeable guest speakers from the disability community.

October also is nationally recognized as Disability Employment Awareness Month. Both designations highlight the need to increase public awareness and respect for people with disabilities as they comprise a substantial percentage of North Carolina's population.

For more information, contact NCDPI Information and Communication Services at 919.807.3450.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.