Disability Advocates respond to Sandy Hook Massacre

The video for this lesson contains time sensitive information. Developments in the project discussed in the video which occurred after the release date are not covered in the video or this curriculum. See “Follow-Up Assignments” below to see a way of incorporating this fact in your lesson plan.

Lesson Title

Disability Advocates respond to Sandy Hook Massacre

Video title, link and release date;

Disability Advocates respond to Sandy Hook Massacre, January 5, 2013

Video length

Two minutes and fifty-three seconds

Grade level

High school

Video Summary

  • Disability advocates are concerned about the prolific misconception that disability and violent aggression are correlated.
  • Americans with Autism and other disabilities are no more likely to commit violent crimes as those without disabilities.
  • Advocates are worried that the incident could lead to more involuntary commitment of those with disabilities to institutions; instead, they recommend improving social services, mobile crisis teams and mental health courts.
  • There is some question over whether Lanza, the shooter, was actually affected by Asperger’s or any disability at all.

Review Questions

Are Americans with disabilities more likely to commit violent crimes than those without disabilities?


Has Lanza’s case of Asperger’s been confirmed by medical reports?


Free Writing Journal Prompt(s)

What about this report do you have questions about?


What measures do you think should be taken to curb violent crime in America? Has this report changed your outlook on any correlation between disability and violence?


What do you want to know more about?



Autistic Self Advocacy Network, New York Times, Huffington Post, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Disability Scoop, Mercury News, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law

Will is the editor for the Galaxy Awareness and History pages as well as one of our pollsters. He is a sophomore at Seattle University majoring in philosophy. His home is La Crosse Wisconsin.