University of Oregon

Patient No More

An exhibition at UO Libraries explores the fight for Disability Rights

Section 504 protesters demonstrate with signs and placards outside San Francisco’s City Hall, April 5, 1977. Photograph by Anthony Tusler
Section 504 protesters demonstrate with signs and placards outside San Francisco’s City Hall, April 5, 1977. Photograph by Anthony Tusler

On display in Special Collections and University Archives, Knight Library.

Through a new traveling exhibition, discover an overlooked moment in U.S. history when people with disabilities occupied a government building to win their rights. The exhibit Patient No More: People with Disabilities Securing Civil Rights will be on display in Special Collections and University Archives from April 23, 2018 to June, 2018. The exhibition uncovers the stories behind a turbulent April in 1977, when people with disabilities successfully launched protests across the nation to get Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 signed into law.

Section 504 made it illegal for any federally funded facilities or programs to discriminate against people with disabilities, but as of 1977, one missing signature stood in the way of the law taking effect. After a 26-day occupation of the Federal Building in San Francisco, the occupiers emerged victorious from the longest unarmed take-over of a federal building in U.S. history when the Head of Health Education and Welfare finally added his signature to the 504 regulations.

In this exhibition, visitors will get a chance to appreciate how the occupiers built networks of support, from unions to the Black Panthers; how protesters influenced the media and changed the language used to cover the protest; and the controversies of 504, especially in regards to race and deafness. Above all, this exhibition reminds all of us that disabilities are a source of creativity and innovation, not pity or tragedy.

Patient No More is presented by the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State University, made possible with support from California Humanities, and traveled by Exhibit Envoy.


This event is free and open to the public. Accommodations for people with disabilities will be provided if requested in advance by calling 541-346-3056, or email libadmin@uoregon.edu.

University of Oregon Libraries
1501 Kincaid Street Eugene, OR
97403-1299
T: (541) 346-3053
F: (541) 346-3485
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