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Ed Roberts' Legacy Lives On In Youths Living With Disabilities

But more has happened. In 2011, California Senator Mark Leno authored a bill that passed as the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful Education Act (FAIR Act) mandating, among other things, that disability and lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) history be taught as part of social studies yearlong in public school grades kindergarten through 12, not just one week in October.

In light of the fact that California doesn't plan to publish new text books until 2015, YO! is working on a plan to get disability and LGBTQ history taught in schools sooner than later. Youth with disabilities are strategically partnering with LGBTQ community members in working with the Department of Education, school boards and superintendents to better understand what needs to happen to ensure both histories are now taught in school. In December 2012, YO! held a one-day FAIR Education Act Summit at San Francisco State University with educators, academics, LGBTQ youth and youth with disabilities to understand each other's perspectives and talk about how to work together in moving the Act forward. On January 21, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, youth with disabilities and LGBTQ youth in San Diego will spend National Service Day learning about each other's communities and coming up with a strategy to get more youth around the state involved in YO!'s efforts to implement the FAIR Act.

"Our communities are passionate about our history, and we value the incredible contributions leaders of our movements have made," commented Mills. "We're excited to finally have people with and without disabilities learning about it in the classroom with their peers. By educating youth in school and establishing relationships, we will move closer toward creating a more inclusive and accepting environment."

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