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University Relations

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March 17, 2006
Contact: Lisa Eitner, Oread Books, (785) 864-4431.

Ribbon cutting for disability-studies book section at Oread Books set for April 6

LAWRENCE — The dedication of a section for books on disability studies and the disability rights movement will be celebrated from 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday, April 6, in Oread Books in the Kansas Union on the University of Kansas campus in Lawrence.

A brief program at 2:30 p.m. will feature a ribbon cutting, speakers, a literature table and door prizes. More than 10 KU departments and organizations are co-sponsoring the event, which is free and open to the public.

Typically, bookstores designate sections devoted to books on group movements and issues, such as women and racial minorities, but it is less common for books on disability to be shelved together.

“It is important that we recognize the importance of the disability rights movement and of disability studies as an area of scholarship. This recognition can serve to promote greater awareness of the contemporary experience of disability in society and contribute to social change,” said Dot Nary, doctoral student in applied behavioral psychology and co-coordinator of the event.

April 6 was chosen for the ribbon cutting to honor an event now considered by many to be the political coming-of-age of the disability rights movement. During the first week of April in 1977, people with disabilities began a 25-day sit-in at the federal building in San Francisco, the longest such event ever held in a U.S. federal building. A group of 120 activists with a variety of disabilities protested the fact that regulations to implement Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act had not yet been issued, thereby delaying discrimination remedies guaranteed by this federal law. Their protest was successful as 504 regulations were signed into law on April 28, 1977, without proposed changes that would have significantly weakened this landmark legislation.

Speakers at the event will include Kathryn Nemeth Tuttle, associate vice provost for Student Success; Glen White, professor of applied behavioral science, who teaches an undergraduate course on independent living for people with disabilities; and a representative of AbleHawks, a campus group for KU students with disabilities.

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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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