Lloyd tested out curriculum to make Disability Justice Lit. class a reality


Em Grybko

NESPA Winner: Feature story, 2023

The Graphic, Amherst Regional High School, Amherst, MA

Next fall, ARHS will feature a new quarter-long Disability Justice English course, created by English teacher and department head Sara Barber-Just and tested out in an 18 week ALPS with 11th grade student Walter Lloyd. The course will feature the work of disabled creators and examine key moments in disability history in the United States – with special attention paid to the contributions and experiences of disabled people who are also BIPOC, queer, women, and immigrants.

In Lloyd’s tenth grade English class, he first had access to curriculum about disability, when Barber-Just included a number of disabled poets in a choice-based poetry project. Lloyd chose “I Am Too Pretty for Some Ugly Laws,” by Lateef McCleod, and ended up writing a letter to the poet about his experiences. McCleod wrote back and encouraged Lloyd to continue to advocate for disability justice in his community.

During conversations with Barber-Just during this unit, Lloyd talked about how important it was to see himself reflected in the curriculum. Lloyd, who has cerebral palsy, has been active in disability education since middle school.


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