Free events invite action and involvement throughout October

The public is invited to free events marking Disability Awareness Month throughout October 2016 at Highline College. The monthlong series of events encourages participants to use their power by educating, advocating, registering and voting in support of equal opportunity, full participation and integration of all people.

All events are free and open to the public and will be held on the college’s main campus, located midway between Seattle and Tacoma at South 240th Street and Pacific Highway South (Highway 99); address: 2400 S. 240th St., Des Moines, Wash.

October 10, 8 a.m.–1 p.m.
Voter Registration Drive
Building 8 (outside of the Highline Bookstore)

Description: Register to vote in time for the November 8 election, when we vote for the next president, among other elected offices. Volunteers will help you register.

October 12, 1:30–2:40 p.m.
“The Criminalization of the Feeble Minded: A History of the Eugenic Movement, 1920-1942” presented by Ivanova Smith
Building 3, room 102

Description: Ask the average person about the “eugenics movement” and you are likely to get blank stares. A popular social movement and a dark time in United States history, the eugenics movement took root in the United States in the early 1900s. The term was first coined by Francis Galton, a half-cousin of Charles Darwin. Ivanova Smith, a historian, advocate, and educator who is autistic, will talk about the ways in which people with intellectual/developmental disabilities were criminalized and institutionalized during the American eugenics movement and how in many ways it is still being practiced today.

October 19, 10–11 a.m.
“History of the Americans with Disabilities Act” presented by Michael Richardson
Building 8, Mt. Skokomish room

Description: Michael Richardson will provide a historical overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act, highlighting significant changes that have taken place and looking forward to work that still needs to be done to ensure access and inclusion for people with disabilities. Richardson’s entire career has been in the field of disability-related services. He is currently the director of the Northwest ADA Center at the Center for Continuing Education in Rehabilitation. He is responsible for coordinating the activities of the Technical Assistance Unit, providing technical assistance, continuing education, and technical consultation services related to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

October 20, 11 a.m.–12 p.m.
“Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment” presented by Toby Olsen, Donna Patrick and Noah Seidel
Building 8, Mt. Skokomish room

Description: A three-person panel will present the current political and legislative landscape affecting people with disabilities. Discussion will include ways to become involved politically and support advocacy efforts, impacts of lawsuits and initiatives on disability policy, and an overview of the state budget. Panel members include Toby Olsen, Executive Secretary of the Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment; Donna Patrick, Director of Public Policy at Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council; and Noah Seidel, Self-Advocacy Coordinator at The Arc of Washington State.