a graphic with Rabby typing on a braille machine, a braille globe, and a book that says take charge, with braille in the background that says world braille day

Lesson Plan: Seeing the World Differently

This lesson plan explores Avraham Rabby's advocacy for blind U.S. Foreign Service Officers, highlighting his efforts in promoting equal access for all, regardless of their disability.
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How does an individual advocate for change? There are many methods of advancing change, from protesting to creating petitions.

This lesson explores how one individual advocated for change. Avraham Rabby knew four languages, lived for significant periods of time in several countries, had a graduate degree, and was a human resources consultant with international clients. Avraham Rabby was also completely blind.

Rabby applied multiple times to be a U.S. Foreign Service Officer and was rejected every time. To him and the blind community, the rejection made no sense. The argument was clearly rooted in stereotypes and misconceptions about blind peoples’ abilities. In response, Rabby went to the press and Congress to advocate for change.

Using objects from the National Museum of American Diplomacy’s collection, a video, and a story of diplomacy, students will analyze how Rabby advocated for change within the U.S. Foreign Service and the impact of Rabby’s advocacy.

Materials & Links

Standards Alignment: 

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.1: Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.2: Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.
  • US2.70: Use historical context to analyze the reaction to movements for political, social, and economic equality.

Recommended Grade Levels: 

  • 9th-12th