Teacher resources

This selection of curriculum-aligned lesson ideas and student activity sheets help to support IDPwD celebrations and help promote an understanding of the contribution people with disability make to the community.

Broad learning outcomes

Using this curriculum material will assist students in achieving the following broad learning outcomes:

  • Students will recognise that people with disability are important members of the community.
  • Students will celebrate the many contributions that people with disability make to society.
  • Students will understand that disability is a part of life and our diversity.


  • Students to write a short story about a visit to their favourite place. They cannot describe how the place looks: they must describe how it smells, sounds and feels.
  • Students to complete the Acrostic poem – Diversity activity sheet.
  • Students to interview a person with disability, then present the interview as a magazine or newspaper article. Include pictures or photographs. Publish the article in the school newsletter or on the school website.
  • Students to explore ‘able’ words and think about all the things they can do by completing the A celebration of ability activity sheet. There are two versions of this sheet (option 1 and option 2). Select the one that is most appropriate for the learning level of your students.
  • Students to experience a different form of communication (Braille) by completing the Communicating with Braille activity sheet.Students to make a list of as many ‘sound’ words as they can (e.g. ‘pop’, ‘bang’, ‘tinkle’). Select a picture book with lots of sound words. Rewrite the story without them. What difference does this make to the story?
  • Students to analyse how people with disability are portrayed in the media and popular culture (TV, movies, music, books etc.). Do students think these portrayals are accurate? Discuss findings.
  • Students to participate in a class discussion about facts and myths using the statements on the True or false? activity sheet.
  • Students to debate ‘People are all different and none of us are the same’.
  • Students to use their creative thinking skills to complete the Creative solutions for everyday situations activity sheet.

Student activity sheets

Student activity sheet solutions


  • Students to research the history of the disability rights movement and how disability has been portrayed. How has this changed over the last century, and who are some people that have raised awareness and made progress in these areas?
  • Students to explore the lives of some historical figures with disability by completing the Match me up activity sheet. When the students have finished discuss how disability might have affected the occupation of each person.
  • Students to research the lives of people in the past with disability. How were they different?

Student activity sheets

Student activity sheet solutions


  • Students to find some statistics about people with disability and present the information in graph format. You will find some interesting statistics on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website.
  • Students to create a scale map of their school and label all the areas which do or do not cater for people with disability. Design a new map of your school indicating improvements that could be made.


  • Students to research the causes of barriers which people with disability may encounter. Find out about gradients, and materials which block sound and light.
  • Students to design a communication device which could be used by a person with disability that affects different aspects of communication (such as vision, hearing, speech, or getting around in the community).
  • Students to walk around the school and identify all the plants that have interesting smells. Create your own guide to a fragrant walk by labelling each of the plants with their common name, scientific name and a description of how they smell.
  • Students to discuss the five senses. For what purposes do we use each one? How do students think they would adapt if they were relying on one or two senses? Students then complete one or both pages of the Listen and sniff activity sheet.
  • Students to identify areas in the school which are particularly pleasing or offensive to one or more of the senses. Mark these areas on a map and create a colour key to explain what was found.
  • Students to use their five senses to complete the Senses scavenger hunt activity sheet.

Student activity sheets

Student activity sheet solutions

The Arts

  • Students to create large posters inviting people to celebrate International Day of People with Disability. Place them around the school for parents and visitors to see.
  • Students to research famous artists with disability and try painting in their styles.
  • Students to brainstorm and research ways in which people who are deaf enjoy music. Consider vibrations and movement.

Health and Physical Education

  • Students to work in small groups to modify their favourite sport so it can be played by people with disability. For example, modify dodge ball so everyone is sitting down instead of standing.
  • Students to research one sport from the Paralympic Games. Teach the sport to the rest of the class.
  • Students to discuss the question ‘What does it mean to have disability?’. Record the responses and discuss any stereotypes or generalisations that are apparent. This should be an open and honest discussion without judgement.

Keep informed

Subscribe to receive International Day of People with Disability updates