For Immediate Release

Contact:
Shari Ireton
University of Washington School of Law
206.685.9002

2009-09-30

UW Holds Eugenics & Disability Symposium

The UW Disability Studies Program, directed by the law school's Henry M. Jackson Professor of Law Paul Miller, will host a symposium on eugenics and disability Friday, October 9, 2009 in the UW Tower Auditorium (4333 Brooklyn Ave. NE, Seattle). Eugenics is the belief in the possibility of improving the qualities of the human species by through the control of reproduction by persons with either undesirable genetics or inheritable traits.

In 1909, Washington became the second state to pass a law allowing for the forced sterilization of people with disabilities and other citizens in the name of improving society. Why was eugenics so widely popular during the early 20th century? What is the significance of the hidden and complex history of eugenics in 2009? This one-day symposium, Eugenics and Disability: History and Legacy in Washington, will provide a forum for dialogue about Washington's eugenic past and its present-day implications for the lives of people in our communities. The roundtable format will feature local and national speakers, with ample time for audience discussion.