The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum has created a new virtual exhibit and curriculum guide for teachers exploring disability awareness and history through stamps. Stamps inspire discussions and explorations through historical and cultural themes, and throughout the exhibit, students can actively participate in rich discussions about types of disabilities and people with disabilities. Teachers can combine visual-literacy strategies and object exploration to enrich their students’ learning experiences and to make new connections to existing knowledge. Presidential and historical figures with disabilities and iconographies of disability awareness are included.
National Disability Employment Awareness Month began in 1988 and usually takes place in October. However, this new virtual exhibit gives reason to celebrate it all year round. “The virtual exhibit and curriculum guide provides teachers with lesson extensions and adaptations on disability awareness,” said K. Allison Wickens, the museum’s director of education. “It connects these topics to take full advantage of the multidisciplined approach that stamps offer.”
The National Postal Museum is devoted to presenting the colorful and engaging history of the nation’s mail service and showcasing the largest and most comprehensive collection of stamps and philatelic material in the world. It is located at 2 Massachusetts Ave. N.E., in the Old City Post Office Building across from Union Station. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information visit the museum’s Web site at postalmuseum.si.edu.
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