Our latest project in 2017 seeks to raise awareness about the reality of life for people with disabilities. We want to provide a better understanding of how propaganda can influence behaviour, by looking at how this was used by the Nazi regime, while attempting to eliminate people with disabilities, in pursuit of its concept of racial purity. We have produced materials for schools which can be used in the context of the Holocaust, whilst also providing a better understanding of the nature of disability and how society currently seeks to provide protection.
At the same time, we also want to address more directly the barriers faced by those with disabilities in Romania today and to provide schools with materials that could be used in the citizenship/civil society part of the curriculum. We aim to create more empathy towards those who have such disabilities and to encourage government bodies at all levels to address barriers and provide more facilities.
This educational pack is structured into two main parts, namely:
- Disability, propaganda and the Nazi regime: a lesson plan aimed at examining the impact of prejudice on individuals and society, on recognizing the role of individuals in stopping the escalation of hate, and on encouraging better empathy and better participation skills through the promotion of equality and dignity of people with disabilities. This subject-matter is also to be found in the related Power Point presentation, which goes deeper into the historical aspect of propaganda, and specifically of propaganda against those with disabilities during the Nazi regime.
- Disability now: a lesson plan on current issues centered around the reality of those with disabilities in the European context in general, and in Romania, specifically. It contains a glossary of Human Rights-related terms, a list of Human Rights declarations, conventions and institutions. It suggests various approaches on the social reality of those with disabilities, a list of recommendations for schools aimed at integration into the mainstream school system; a short presentation on the current situation in Romania, whilst stressing the impact that positive initiatives can have both on those with disabilities, and on the society at large.
The resource also contains two practical group activities aimed at encouraging empathy with and support for people with disabilities and at paying closer attention to the dynamics of a mixed group whether in school or in the larger community.
The first part is currently available to be used by teachers in class. The second part will be available in the autumn of 2017. Updates to follow.