LAWRENCE — The Dole Institute of Politics has announced two events to open “Celebrating Opportunity for People with Disabilities: 70 Years of Dole Leadership.” The exhibition is the kickoff event to the institute’s special series “commemorateADA,” recognizing the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act and former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole’s important role in the passage of this legislation.
The opening will take place from 2-4 p.m. July 26 in the Simons Media Room at the Dole Institute of Politics. It will include a brief program at 3 p.m. Refreshments will be served. The event is free, and the public is invited.
Additionally, the opening is presented in coordination with Independence Inc.’s ADA Celebration program, which will be from 10 a.m. to noon July 25 at the Lawrence Public Library.
“Celebrating Opportunity for People with Disabilities: 70 Years of Dole Leadership” is dedicated to stories from Dole’s decades-long advocacy for people with disabilities, featuring documents from the Dole Archives.
“The passage of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act is a milestone in Senator Dole’s career, but it is just one of many ways Dole has advocated for people with disabilities.” said Audrey Coleman, Dole Archives senior archivist. “By focusing on documents from the Dole Archives, the exhibit gives a glimpse into his perspective and the nature of his leadership, at the national level and over time.”
Ray Mizumura-Pence, disability history specialist and lecturer in KU’s Department of American Studies, contributed extensively to the project’s development. The Kansas Audio-Reader Network will provide an audio description of the exhibition.
The exhibition will be accessible online via the Dole Archives website along with a selection of more than 10,000 searchable, digitized documents from the archive that pertain to the ADA. The KU Council for Social Studies designed accompanying instructional materials, also at the archives website, for middle and high school teachers.
“Senator Dole considers the enactment of the ADA a major part of his legacy,” said Dole Institute Director Bill Lacy. “That’s especially significant given his enormous impact on a variety of critical issues.”
“CommemorateADA” begins with the exhibit opening and will continue through the fall semester. It will include a series of free public programs with special guest speakers, the ongoing archives exhibition, online collections components and research awards. “CommemorateADA” is made possible by the sponsorship of General Electric Company.
Independence Inc. has served as a resource in Lawrence and Northeast Kansas since 1978 through its mission to maximize the independence of people with disabilities through advocacy, peer support, training, transportation and community education. As an Independent Living Center, they work with people with varying disabilities to live in the environments of their choice as well as offer options, resources and advocacy to help people live fulfilling lives.
KUCSS seeks to provide professional development to pre-service and alumni teachers, to hold public discussions and programs, to advance social studies education and to cooperate with schools, districts and communities.
The Robert J. Dole Archive & Special Collections at the Dole Institute of Politics is home to one of the nation’s largest collections of papers and artifacts for a nonpresidential politician. It contains the complete records of Dole’s political and post-political career, including manuscripts, photographs, audio-visual material, oral histories, textiles and artifacts. The collection is a window to the legislative process as well as a resource for Kansas history and a chronicle of late 20th century history and popular culture.
The Dole Institute of Politics is dedicated to promoting public service, civic engagement and politics. It is located on KU’s west campus and, in addition to the Archive & Special Collections, offers programming with world-renowned guest speakers on a variety of topics that intersect politics, as well as opportunities for students of all ages.