EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — Area schools have received funding to introduce a new curriculum approved for students with disabilities.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) announced Friday, 10 area schools have received grant funding under the Disability Inclusive Curriculum Pilot Program to instruct K-12 students on the political, economic, and social contributions of individuals with disabilities.

“This funding will allow schools across the Commonwealth to better serve all learners by creating or expanding disability-inclusive programming that reduces stigma and builds belonging,” said Secretary of Education Dr. Khalid N. Mumin.

The schools receiving funding are as follows:

California Academy Charter School, Washington County
Dunmore School District, Lackawanna County
East Stroudsburg Area School District, Monroe County
Greater Johnstown School District, Cambria County
Hampton Township School District, Allegheny County
New Foundations Charter School, Philadelphia County
North Penn School District, Montgomery County
South Park School District, Allegheny County
South Fayette Township School District, Allegheny County
Wellsboro Area School District, Tioga County

The Disability Inclusive Curriculum Pilot Program promotes topics and subject matter for students that will help them to understand that disabilities are just part of the human condition and emphasizes the critical contributions of individuals with disabilities.

“The program was developed in collaboration with vested partners and subject matter experts, and this important curriculum will support Pennsylvania’s educators, students, and communities as a whole,” Dr. Mumin added.

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.

Officials expect the program to impact the overall culture and environment of schools by reducing the stigma of students with disabilities by including disability as a part of a school-wide strategic plan.

Additionally, a disability inclusion toolkit can be found on the PDE SAS portal to help support school students and staff across the state to infuse disability-inclusive education into their existing curriculum.

The toolkit resources are available for any student or staff member at any age or grade level and include sample lesson plans, professional development opportunities, and ideas for implementing a disability-inclusive curriculum, into the classroom.

For more information on the Pennsylvania Department of Education, please visit the website or Facebook page.