Hello, welcome to the CapABLE Curriculum! My name is Vivian O’Neal and I’m a 23-year-old graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations. I currently live in Washington, D.C. and work in the United States Senate.
Being the sister of a child with a disability and the daughter of educators, I was quick to develop a connection with students with disabilities. I paid close attention to how they were perceived by other children and how disability policy was implemented in the public education system. Watching my brother Josiah grow up showed me that not everybody truly knows how to appropriately bridge the gap between those with a disability and those without. This mindset can often lead to bullying situations in the future and the reason can be as innocent as a lack of education or exposure. That is why I created the CapABLE curriculum.
After the passing of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 1975, students with disabilities began receiving more fair treatment. This removed the physical barrier but the social barrier still remains. CapABLE provides education stakeholders with solutions for bridging emotional learning for all students. The initiative focuses on celebrating the differences between students, eliminating stigma and encouraging diversity.
I believe that every child should feel embraced and free to be themselves, especially in an environment where they spend 15% of their life. It is the mission of CapABLE to ensure that every student becomes their own superhero and taps into their true potential. Thank you for believing in your students’ capabilities.
Vivian O’Neal, creator and author