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Upcoming Presentations

Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) conference - Las Vegas - February 21-23

Register for the LDA conference
Disability History workshops - February 23. 

Teach Disability History: We Can and We Must - March 8, 7-8pm 

Join the free webinar launch of the Reform to Equal Rights: K-12 Disability History Curriculum


Educators and disability advocates will share compelling stories of disability rights activists across 200 years of history and ways you can support disability history today.

The new curriculum offers free, online, 23 lessons in 8 units using over 200 primary sources. Inclusive lessons model Universal Design for Learning. The project is funded by a Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources grant.

Topics range from Moral Reformers to the Disability Rights Movement. A special unit on disabled Civil War veterans and nurses who served them features Massachusetts stories, supported by the Expand Massachusetts Stories program of Mass Humanities.

Hear also from

  • Young adult leaders of the Easterseals Massachusetts #TeachDisabilityHistory campaign.
  • Graham Warder, Keene State College - Disabled Civil War Veterans and Nurses
  • Desiree Forte, Easterseals Massachusetts - #TeachDisabilityHistory campaign
  • Ross Newton, HEC Academy - Disability History in the Classroom
  • Katherine Stevens, Mass Humanities - Expand Massachusetts Stories
  • Rich Cairn, Emerging America - lead author Reform to Equal Rights: K-12 Disability History Curriculum


National Council for History Education (NCHE) conference - Salt Lake City - March 23-25

Register for NCHE Conference
Emerging America workshop and poster sessions: Struggles for Freedom of Self-Determination: Engaging Every Learner through Disability History

Recent Presentations

National Council for the Social Studies Conference - December 2-4, 2022 - Philadelphia - Info on NCSS Conference

Emerging America and Inclusion at the 2022 NCSS Conference 

  • "How to Integrate Disability History into the Curriculum: We Can and We Must" - Rich Cairn presentation includes the new Reform to Equal Rights: K-12 Disability History Curriculum - Friday, December 2, 10:05-10:30am - Marriott Franklin 11 (4th floor). 
  • "Social Studies and History Methods That Include –– and Strengthen –– English learners" - Poster Session. Alison Noyes. Saturday, December 3, 11:30am - 12:30pm. Convention Center Reg Bridge West. 


Two smiling women wearing name tags stand in front of a conference poster.
Poster, "Are Multilingual Students on Your Educating for American Democracy Roadmap," with Alison Noyes and Kristen Chapron of iCivics. (Photo credit: Tanai Benard-Turner). Dec. 2, 2022 NCSS Philadelphia.


2022 Recordings & Materials from Presentations 

Massachusetts and the Experience of Civil War Disability - Graham Warder, Keene State College - June 30, 2022

Link to the recording (1:02:06 minutes)

Made possible in part through an Expanding Massachusetts Stories grant from Mass Humanities. 


Smithsonian National Education Summit - July 27-28, 2022 - Information on the FREE Smithsonian summit.


Interview with Rich Cairn and Alison Noyes from Emerging America - on Tom Bober's The Primary Source Podcast. 


History and Civics Accessibility as a Practical Civil Right


New Inclusive Strategies & Tools for Civic Engagement by Students with Disabilities - 2022 Massachusetts Civic Learning Week


Inclusion for Civic Learning - Spring 2021 Webinar Series

• Strategies to Engage All Students in Asking Their Own Questions


Thinkport Inquiry Kits – Teaching Tools from Maryland Humanities and Maryland Public Television

  • May 4, 2021 -  Lia Atanat, Maryland Humanities - 190 Thinkport kits examine social studies/history themes for use in classroom activities, or as starter kits for History Day projects! Lia showcases Thinkport kits on Disability History and Immigration History. Visit the Thinkport site: 


Inclusion in Civics and History - Easterseals #TeachDisabilityHistory Campaign 



Other 2021 Recordings


Teaching Disability History: From Reform to Equal Rights


Immigrant Storytelling in the American Narrative

Wednesday, September 22, 2021 (1 hr) Panel discussion for the Festival Near You programming of the Library of Congress National Book Festival.Sponsored by Emerging America and the Immigrant Learning Center. Over 200 attended live, and over 500 registered to receive the session recording. Link to the Webinar Recording.  

Launching from the examination of immigration in the memoir of NPR veteran journalist Maria Hinojosa, Once I Was You, this webinar addressed

  • The experiences of people telling immigrant stories in multiple mediums, including refugees and long-time citizens of the united states
  • Strategies for both the U.S.-born and foreign-born to change the conversation
  • LINK to resources on primary sources and events connected to immigration history and stories


Inquiry as a Primary Mode of Learning 

  • Webinar for AP Teachers on the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap. Emerging America's Rich Cairn joined the panel to speak about Disability History and access strategies. 
    Link to the AP webinar recording. (54 minutes). 


Learning Disabilities Association of America Panel Discussion - Creating an Inclusive Civic and History Education for All 

  • March 25, 2021 - Learn about Educating for American Democracy (EAD), the changes it represents for all learners, the ways it can be leveraged to develop student self-advocacy and self-determination, and how you can join this ground-breaking effort. Moderated by Learning Disabilities Association of America President, Cindy Cipoletti. With Ace Parsi - EAD and former Director of Innovation at the National Center for Learning Disabilities, Kim Eckert - 2018 Louisiana Teacher of the Year, and Rich Cairn - Director of Emerging America.


Rethinking Immigration History for ALL Learners

  • February 24, 2021 - Keynote presentation as part of Teacher Librarian Day (TLD). In 2021, the TLD ran from February 22 to 26 with the theme of New Directions. Sponsored by Metropolitan State University of Denver and Western Region TPS. 



June 3, 2020 - Library of Congress TPS Summer Series - Reflecting on Using Primary Sources to Meet the Needs of Diverse Learners: 

  • December 2, 2020 - WGBH webinar: Teach Diverse Stories with Primary Sources and ArtifactsWGBH recording. (60 minutes). 
  • October 21, 2020 - North East Regional Conference for the Social Studies (NERC): Making History, Civics, & Social Science Accessible to ALL Learners. NERC 2020 recording. (57:02 minutes). 
  • September 23-24, 2020 - Massachusetts Civic Literacy Coalition (MCLC): Engage Students with Disabilities in Inquiry and Civic Action. Materials included available through the MCLC site for the 2020 Civic Literacy Conference: 


Contact Rich Cairn to schedule Accessing Inquiry and other professional development workshops remotely in your school district, state, or region in 2021-2022. 


Upcoming Workshops

This course introduces exemplars of best practice pedagogy for English Learners in History and Social Studies classrooms. It demonstrates dual-language-learner-…
Emerging America and the National Council for the Social Studies present a webinar to strengthen high quality instruction of students with disabilities.  Mark…
National Council for the Social Studies Conference - December 1-3, 2023 - Nashville Mark your calendars! Info on NCSS Conference.  Join thousands of colleag…