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Professional Development

Teaching Disability History: How the Civil War Changed Disability and American Government

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10 PDPs
Grade K-12

Join us for the release of an exciting new curriculum: Reform to Equal Rights!

A Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources grant supported Emerging America to create a free K-12 Disability History Curriculum: Reform to Equal Rights. Topics include, Antebellum Reformers, Immigration and Disability, Eugenics, the Disability RIghts Movement, and the Americans with Disabilities Act and other laws.

As part of the project, Massachusetts Humanities awarded an Expand Massachusetts Stories grant to allow Emerging America and Disability History scholar Graham Warder to research and publish the compelling stories of disabled Massachusetts Civil War veterans and nurses.

The Civil War left more than 600,000 dead and half a million injured. An unprepared nation strained to nurse soldiers during the war and vastly expanded state and Federal services to aid veterans after. By 1900, the U.S. had paid pensions to nearly a million veterans, justified largely by their disabilities. These changes transformed America, spurring enormous growth in government and private services. The experience also profoundly sharpened attitudes toward people with disabilities, both sympathetic and fearful.

On June 30, 2022, 9:00am – noon, CES will hold a half-day online teacher workshop on the Civil War veterans unit: How the Civil War Transformed Disability. Teachers will experience primary source-based activities from the unit on disabled Civil War veterans and will explore the strategies and tools of inquiry-based instruction using primary sources.

The afternoon of June 30, 12:30-3:00pm, CES will showcase the entire K-12 Disability History curriculum and feature a lesson-writing workshop.

Teachers may earn 10 PDPs (no added cost) if they participate in BOTH daytime sessions and join a free 7:00pm virtual talk by historian, Graham Warder: "Massachusetts and the Experience of Civil War Disability." Teachers must also complete a written reflection and text set.

This program is made possible by a grant from Mass Humanities, state-based affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, which provided funding through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC).

Registration Options

There are no available options to register for at this time.


A maximum class size is set for each course and registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. If the number of registrations for a course exceeds the maximum seats available or is too low to be able to conduct a quality learning experience, CES will inform you of available options.

Course Cancellation

If you wish to cancel your registration, please submit a request in writing (via mail, email or fax) no later than 7 business days before the workshop’s start date. After that, there are no refunds or billing adjustments.

In the event that a course is cancelled by the Collaborative for Educational Services, we will notify you as soon as possible. Please be sure to provide your best email address and phone number so we can contact you. Although every effort is made to avoid last minute cancellations, if an emergency arises, we will do our best to reach you at the phone number and email address you provide.

Inclement Weather

Any delays or cancellations are posted online at You may also call 413.588.5979 after 6:30am for information about classes that day. Or for Early Childhood Professional Development information, please call 413.588.5570

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