Lesson Plan

The Tools I Need: Disability and Accommodations

Disabled African American girl using a tablet while sitting in wheelchair at elementary school


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GRADE LEVEL: Elementary School, Middle School

COMMON CORE STANDARDS: Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening, Language

SEL STANDARDS*: Self Awareness, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, Responsible Decision-Making

#Instacaptioning video goes viral

In 2020, when Shaylee Mansfield was eleven years old, she made a video that went viral called #Instacaptioning. Shaylee, who is Deaf, is an actress and former YouTuber. In the video, Shaylee makes the case for automatic captioning on Instagram stories. She made the video because she felt frustrated because, at the time, there was no captioning on Instagram. While watching stories from friends and celebrities, Shaylee could not understand what was happening in the videos and she couldn’t understand what people were saying, thinking and doing. Instagram now has automatic captioning available, but Shaylee’s video was an important way to spread awareness about the lack of accommodations for people with disabilities. 

About the Lesson Plan

This lesson provides an opportunity for students to understand what disabilities are, consider what tools and accommodations people with disabilities need, and advocate for accommodations by writing a persuasive letter.    

Learning Objectives: 

  • Students will understand what disabilities are and the different kinds of disabilities.  

  • Students will gain an understanding of various accommodations needed by people with disabilities.   

  • Students will learn how to advocate for people with disabilities by writing a persuasive letter or essay.  

* Based on CASEL's SEL Framework