Passionate About Disability Inclusion
Diana Pastora Carson, M.Ed. has been an educator for over 30 years, teaching both at the elementary school level and the university level. She is a consultant and trainer on diversity as it relates to disability and is the author of several articles and books including Beyond Awareness: Bringing Disability into Diversity Work in K-12 Schools & Communities, as well as her children’s book, Ed Roberts: Champion of Disability Rights. She has compiled her disability awareness teachings in a digital course entitled "Beyond Awareness: Disability Awareness That Matters." Her Beyond Awareness work has earned her statewide PTA recognitions in the areas of advocacy and outreach, as well as her school’s designation of Teacher of the Year. She has also been featured on several radio programs and television news stories and served two terms on the board of directors of Disability Rights California. She currently serves as a board member of Disability Voices United. Although Diana experiences disability herself, she credits her brother, Joaquin Carson, for her passion for inclusion, disability advocacy, and activism. Joaquin endured years of segregated schooling and subsequent institutionalization. Diana takes the most pride in knowing that after many years of fighting for his release, Joaquin now lives a life of inclusion and quality, in the community, as her next door neighbor.
Diana is available for conference keynotes, district trainings, and one-on-one coaching for educators, families, and businesses, looking to maximize their inclusion efforts in the lives of their students, loved ones, and community members.
Going Beyond Awareness in Schools
Inclusive Instructional Strategies & Accommodations
A Walk with Joaquin
Advocacy Through the Eyes of a Spanish-Italian
Institutional vs. Inclusive Mindset
Disability & Diversity
Ed Roberts Children's Book
& His Love of "Steak"
Joaquin Carson has survived segregated education, social isolation, and lack of understanding amidst his communication attempts. The experience of being disabled by "fences" (his environment), more than his autism, continues to inspire the work of his sister. Joaquin has lived in a state institution twice in his lifetime due to mistaken judgments about his personhood and lack of dignifying responses to his existence. After 3 years of fighting for his freedom, Joaquin is finally living...in the community, in a home of his own, with loving neighbors, including his sister.
When asked by our mother what meal he wanted upon his return to the community, Joaquin responded, "Steak." And for the rest of his wait for freedom, he continued to claim, "Steak is coming!" Now he says, "I like steak." Joaquin cannot digest steak easily and so he rarely eats steak. But he still says this often when he is happy. "Steak" is Joaquin's metaphor for life quality.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
“All I can say is thank you, Diana, for doing what we all aspired to do when we became educators. You are making a difference with your dedication, your inspiration, and your commitment to educating our students. Awesome!”
— Jorge Mora, Principal