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ADAPT and the Disability Rights Movement

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Laura Hershey participating in the ADAPT protest against the American Health Care Association's 1994 Las Vegas Convention

Laura Hershey participating in the ADAPT protest against the American Health Care Association's 1994 Las Vegas Convention. Hershey wears an ADAPT t-shirt and has a handwritten sign taped to her wheelchair reading "Disability Rights or Disability Riots!" Photographer unknown.

Getting Started

Begin your research by brainstorming keywords - the words and phrases you’ll use to search for books, articles, websites, government documents, and other resources. These may include names of people and places or historical concepts like eras and movements. A librarian can suggest “subject headings” to find the most relevant resources.

Example Keywords & Catalog Subject Headings

People with disabilities
American Disabled for Accessible Public Transportation
ADAPT
American Disabled for Attendant Programs Today
Laura Hershey
Wade Blank
Civil rights

Genealogy, African American and Western History Resources

The Western History & Genealogy department focuses on Colorado and the West. These materials do not check out and are available to view on Floor 5 of the Central Library when the library is open. During the current closure, Western History and Genealogy Staff are still available to assist by phone and email and can provide scans of collection items for your project. Email history@denverlibrary.org and include "National History Day" in your subject line, or call 720-865-1821 Tues-Fri, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. or Sat, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

The Blair Caldwell African American Research Library archives and reference collections focus on African American history and culture in Colorado and the West. Materials from the archives do not check out and are available to view on Floor 2 of the library when the library is open. During the current closure, Blair-Caldwell Library staff are still available to assist by phone and email and can provide scans of collection items for your project. Email askblaircaldwell@denverlibrary.org and include "National History Day" in your subject line, or call 720-865-2401, Tues-Fri, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. or Sat, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Database/Online Resources

Library databases are online collections of information, organized for research. Databases contain articles, eBooks, images, maps, primary sources and more. If you don’t have a library card, register online for immediate access to these resources.The following recommended databases are available on our Research and Teen Social Studies pages.

Internet Sources

Before using information you find on the internet for assignments and research, it is important to establish that the information comes from a reliable and appropriate source. The following websites, from government, academic and nonprofit organizations, have been evaluated for authority, accuracy, content and currency.

ADAPT is a national grass-roots community that organizes disability rights activists to engage in nonviolent direct action, including civil disobedience, to assure the civil and human rights of people with disabilities to live in freedom.
Blog post from the Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Department about the disability rights movement in Denver.
Information and technical assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act from the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.
Laura Hershey's website featuring her poetry, resume, art and articles.

Contact the Reference Services department for help with your research project