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University of Georgia Celebrates Georgias Rich Disability History with a Symposium on October 23

September 17, 2015
Source: The University of Georgia (UGA)

To increase the publics understanding of disability history in Georgia, two University of Georgia (UGA) departments are partnering to present an afternoon symposium devoted to disability rights and advocacy. The event will be held Friday, October 23, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m., at the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries. A reception will follow.

Titled “Georgia Disability History Symposium: Stories of Advocacy and Action,” the event includes an array of speakers presenting their experiences advocating over the past several decades, and their thoughts about what still needs to be done, 25 years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The symposium is co-sponsored by UGAs Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies and the Institute on Human Development and Disability and is an initiative of the Georgia Disability History Alliance, a group of advocates, self-advocates, organizational leaders, archivists, researchers and others united to preserve and protect the states disability history.

Dr. Zolinda Stoneman, director of the Universitys Institute on Human Development and Disability (IHDD), will provide the keynote. Her talk will center on the impact of the ADA as well as a history of Rivers Crossing, a campus facility that once served as an institution for children with developmental disabilities.

Other speakers include Sue Jamieson, Atlanta Legal Aid Society; Al Duval, self-advocate; Eleanor Smith, founder of Concrete Change; Mark Johnson, Shepherd Center; Tom Kohler, Chatham-Savannah Citizen Advocacy; Shelly Simmons, Statewide Independent Living Council of Georgia; and Amanda Alford, People First of Athens.

The symposium also will feature exhibits highlighting documents, photographs and memorabilia from the recently created Georgia Disability History Archive. Housed at the Russell Library, the archive seeks to document all aspects of disability history in Georgia to create an accurate record of the historical, social, cultural, political and legal changes affecting the disability community over time.

The ADA Legacy Tour bus also will be on hand for the event. Throughout the past year, Tom Olin, a photographer responsible for capturing compelling images of the disability rights movement, has driven the 37-foot bus, emblazoned with the slogan “Road to Freedom,” over 23,000 miles, visiting over 100 cities in 33 states, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the ADA.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Mat Darby at (706) 542-0627 or

More information:

Institute on Human Development and Disability:
Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies:
Georgia Disability History Alliance:
ADA Legacy Tour:

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