An accessible version of the archival material represented on this site will be made available upon request.
Please contact us at to request the document be made available in an accessible format.

Disability Visibility and Architectural Barriers

book, lamp, and archival boxes with photocopies of archival material on a table.


Specific chapters from the 2022-2023 KU Common Book selection Disability Visibility, edited by Alice Wong, are related to primary sources and digital collections from the Dole Archives with a special focus on Kansas and KU disability efforts, with a lens of national dialogue. This discussion of disability lends easily to primary sources from the Dole Archives to highlight a narrative of how community-voiced problems influenced policy and legislative development which, with key support in Congress, culminated in the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, a landmark piece of civil rights legislation. The Dole Institute of Politics has many resources available on the topics exhibited in the Common Book selection and is committed to full accessibility for all students, staff, and public.

Through the lens of Senator Dole's congressional career, the primary sources in this topic guide touch on issues of accessible transit, independent living, architectural barriers, and the ADA. A special collection of interesting KU specific letters and reports tell our own campus story of working to eradicate architectural barriers for all students. In addition, correspondence and reports on the United States Capitol building and its journey to accessibility are thought-provoking for a class discussion. The Dole Archives are proud to make these documents available to all KU students to accompany Disability Visibility and invite you to see these materials for yourself in-person with a tour or class, or utilize them online.

Date Range

  • 1945-1996

Online Materials

  • Letters, reports, press releases, newsletters


Disability Visibility Chapters and Major Themes

Chapter 1 - Unspeakable Conversations by Harriet McBryde Johnson

Topic - Assisted Suicide

Chapter 5 – The Erasure of Indigenous People in Chronic Illness by Jen Deerinwater

Topic - Indigenous Indian Health

Chapter 10 – We Can’t Go Back by Ricardo T. Thornton Sr.

Topic - Employment Access and Opinions of Young People

Chapter 12 – Guide Dogs Don’t Lead Blind People. We Wander as One. By Haben Girma

Topic - Blind and Visually Impaired

Chapter 27 – Lost Cause by Reyma McCoy McDeid

Topic - Independent Living

Chapter 28 – On NYC's Paratransit, Fighting for Safety, Respect, and Human Dignity by Britney Wilson

Topic - Accessible Transit

Chapter 29 – Gaining Power Through Communication Access by Lateef McLeod

Topic - Deaf-Teletypewriter Assistance

General Architectural Barriers

General Disability Documents

KU Architectural Barriers – letters and reports

U.S. Capitol Architectural Barriers

Senator Dole Disability Personal Story