emitchell1 Thumbnail
User-Created Content
By emitchell1
On July 27, 2020

Lesson Plan: Americans with Disabilities Act

America with Disabilities Act

This clip shows the signing of the America with Disabilities Act.


This lesson details the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act signed by President George H.W. Bush. It also looks at the 20th Anniversary speech made by President Barack Obama and his vision for the future of Americans with Disabilities.


  • WARM-UP:

    Provide students with the following question:

    What is a disability?

    Allow students to share their ideas. Then prompt them to think about someone they know who has a disability. Have students share their answers and their relationship with that person.


    Have students complete the vocabulary activity. If using their personal devices, they should make a copy of the Google Slide and match each term to the appropriate definition. If they are using this as a printed handout, they can draw arrows to the correct match.

    HANDOUT: ADA Vocabulary Activity (Google Slide) Students will match definitions for the following vocabulary terms:

    • Disability
    • Equal Access
    • Public Accommodations
    • MS - Multiple Sclerosis
    • Epilepsy
    • United Nations
    • Guarantee
    • Veteran

    After reviewing the vocabulary terms and addressing any misconceptions, have students view the following video clip to learn about the Americans with Disabilities Act. Students should complete the related Graphic Organizer with information from the videos and answer the accompanying questions.

    HANDOUT: ADA Graphic Organizer (Google Slide)

    VIDEO CLIP 1: President Bush: Signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (3:11)

    VIDEO CLIP 2: President Obama: Americans with Disabilities Act (7:27)

    1. What does President Bush say that the Americans with Disabilities Act will provide to people?

    2. Why does President Bush say that it is important for all citizens to have access to public places?

    3. What “sacred duty” does President Bush refer to in his speech?

    4. What does the executive order that President Obama signed do to help people with disabilities?

    5. What do you think still needs to be done today to allow all people to have equal access to opportunities?

    Using what they learned in the video clips, have students select one of the following handouts to complete about the American with Disabilities Act.

    HANDOUT: ADA Activity: Then and Now Chart (Google Slide)

    HANDOUT: ADA Activity: Collage (Google Slide)


    Ask students to consider their notes from the videos as well as class discussion as they create a commercial about the benefits of the Americans with Disabilities Act or publicizing an area that you think still needs to be changed. The commercial must be 1-3 minutes and should be filmed and turned in with the video file. Props or costumes can be used to add to your commercial.


  • Disability
  • Epilepsy
  • Equal Access
  • Guarantee
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Public Accommodations
  • United Nations
  • Veteran


Civil Rights & Civil Liberties


Middle School