About UD

“The next time I see Amy, I’ll tell her I like her pin.” A simple sentence, just 13 words long but delivered with sincerity and excitement. The speaker, a 4th-grade boy in an Understanding Disabilities class about developmental disabilities, was referring to a person he’d often see when shopping with his family in the local grocery store. At times, he’d felt confused and critical of the awkward way she wore her jewelry. But he didn’t feel that way anymore, and was now looking forward to seeing her again – not to criticize, but to be friendly.
“The next time I see Amy, I’ll tell her I like her pin.”

Do you believe a person’s life can be made better with just 13 words?
We do.

Understanding Disabilities, Inc. (UD) is passionate about increasing positive attitudes toward people with disabilities. Our passion underlies our 30+ years of success teaching disability awareness in the Reading public schools, and forms the backbone of our innovative new curriculum that specifically meets the needs of today’s classroom, supporting inclusion and promoting respectful interactions. This social and emotional learning helps children process and understand the communities in which they live, develop healthy relationships with them, and even make them better.

Why We’re Different

The Understanding Disabilities curriculum is like no other. Three decades of immersive classroom expertise have inspired us to create a disability awareness curriculum that increases awareness, raises consciousness, and provides the tools for students to act compassionately at school today and in society tomorrow. Read more about our curriculum

Our Proven Success

The UD curriculum and method has won support from both academic and philanthropic sources. A 2013 study conducted at Endicott College shows that children in Reading have a far more positive attitude toward people with disabilities than peers in towns without a disability awareness program. Further, the UD mission is backed by a $100,000 grant from the Cummings Foundation, a philanthropic organization funding human services, education, healthcare, and social justice causes.