This article is known and may be cited as the "Disability History Week Act."
The Legislature finds that:
(1) According to the two thousand United States Census over four hundred thousand West Virginians have disabilities, which is nearly twenty-four percent of the state's general population;
(2) In order to ensure the full inclusion of people with disabilities into society, it is necessary to expand the public's knowledge, awareness and understanding of the history of disabilities and the disability rights movement;
(3) The disability rights movement is a civil rights movement that is an important part of the history of this state and this country;
(4) October is recognized nationally as Disability Awareness Month; and
(5) By designating the third week of October as Disability History Week, students and the public will have the opportunity to learn about the history and contributions of people with disabilities.
The purpose of this article is to increase the awareness and understanding of the history and contributions of people with disabilities in the state, nation and world by designating the annual observance of the third week of October as Disability History Week.
As used in this article the following words and phrases have the following meanings:
(a) "Disability history" means the people, events and timelines of the development and evolution of services to, and the civil rights of, people with disabilities. Disability history includes the contributions of specific people with disabilities; and
(b) "Existing school curriculum" means all the courses and curricula currently in place at a public school.
(a) The third week of October annually is designated as Disability History Week for the State of West Virginia.
(b) In recognition of and to further the purposes of Disability History Week, each public school shall provide instruction on disability history, people with disabilities and the disability rights movement. The instruction shall be integrated into the existing school curriculum in a manner such as, but not limited to, supplementing existing lesson plans, holding school assemblies or providing other school activities. The instruction may be delivered by school personnel or by guest speakers.
(c) State institutions of higher education are encouraged to conduct and promote activities that provide education, awareness and understanding of disability history, people with disabilities and the disability rights movement.
(d) The Legislature is encouraged to annually recognize Disability History Week by introducing a concurrent resolution to:
(1) Recognize youth leaders in the disability rights movement;
(2) Reaffirm a commitment to the full inclusion of people with disabilities in society; and
(3) Recognize the disability rights movement as an important part of the history of this state and nation.
(e) Recognized resources for information, materials and speakers regarding disability history, people with disabilities and the disability rights movement include, but are not limited to:
(1) Centers for Independent Living;
(2) The Statewide Independent Living Council;
(3) The Developmental Disabilities Council; and
(4) The State Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator.
(f) The provisions of this article are not intended to create a burden, financial or otherwise, for public schools, teachers or state institutions of higher education.