Disability Studies at the University of Washington

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In 1975 I co-founded, with Jack Martin, the first Disabled Students Association at the University of Washington in Seattle. During that pre-ADA period the disability rights movement successfully lobbied the governors of each of the 50 states, and eventually the president of the United States to establish high profile Conferences on Disability. At the same time Seattle Metro Transit took the early US lead on accessible public transit and I oversaw a major retrofit of UW facitilies. We were all indebted to the support and strategic thinking that came to us from the Civil Rights Movement.

Fast forward to 2005 and I am proud to announce another notable UW accomplishment.

Through the persistence of the UW Disability Studies Department's Dennis Lang, and the support of many others:

The University of Washington's new Disability Studies Minor has been approved and will be effective Spring Quarter 2005. The Disability Studies minor will be administrated by the Law, Societies, and Justice Program (LSJ), Department of Political Science, College of Arts and Sciences. Web Site for the minor: http://depts.washington.edu/disstud .

Best of luck to the UW undergrads enrolled in this promising new initiative -- don't forget your status as a Pacific Rim neighbor and keep your academic ears open to the global dialogue. Take a good look at how you can make a positive contribution to the travel & hospitality industry and inclusive destination development. Your specialized knowledge is becoming increasingly marketable in industry, NGOs, and government.

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