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UT Arlington Presents ‘Building a Barrier-Free Campus’ Exhibit

image of photos from the exhibit
Images from UT Arlington Libraries’ Texas Disability History Collection

UT Arlington’s “Building a Barrier-Free Campus” exhibit is touring in Austin this Friday, Sept. 29, 1:30-2:30 p.m. at the Texas State Capitol, ground floor rotunda. The exhibit, co-hosted by Services for Students with Disabilities, offers a glimpse into the history of the nation’s largest minority group and tells us why the history of disability rights and accessibility matters.

Following it’s stay at the Capitol, it will be available for viewing at the Perry-Castañeda Library from October 11 through October 23rd, a highlight of SSD’s Disabilities Awareness Month activity.

The exhibit traces how UT Arlington became a model accessible campus for students with disabilities starting in the mid-1960s—a time when students with disabilities had no right to attend K-12 schools or college—and how students and alums with disabilities drive social activism and adapted sports in Texas and beyond.


Hear how this history is being collected and preserved in UT Arlington Libraries’ Texas Disability History Collection and see  the “Building a Barrier-Free Campus” exhibit (on tour in Austin in October).


  • Bob Kafka, ADAPT of Texas and co-founder of Southwest Wheelchair Athletics Association
  • Susie Angel, Coalition of Texans with Disabilities
  • Renee Lopez, ADAPT of Texas and community advocate for people with disabilities
  • Trevor Engel, UT Arlington Disability Studies Minor graduate/staff and exhibit co-curator
  • Sarah Rose, UT Arlington Disability Studies Minor director, History associate professor, and exhibit co-curator

UT Arlington Libraries’ Texas Disability History Collection (TDHC) is the first disability history archive in the Southwest, and ranges from a 1493 map of the known world to the present.  Digitized highlights from the Texas Disability History Collection reflect TDHC’s strengths in the intersecting histories of assistive technologies, adapted sports and disability rights.

Partners making the tour possible:  Texas Center for Disability Studies, UT Austin Libraries, UT Austin’s Services for Students with Disabilities, Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities, Coalition of Texans with Disabilities, UT Arlington Disability Studies Minor, UT Arlington Libraries, UT Arlington Department of History, and UT Arlington College of Liberal Arts.