By Jennifer Owen
With heavy hearts we share the news that Evelyn Chapman passed away on November 19th, 2016. While her achievements were many, we are forever grateful for her efforts in co-founding Northwest Center.
Passionate about human rights, Evelyn fought valiantly for those with disabilities—especially motivated to champion the rights of her son Coolidge after he was refused equal education in Seattle Public Schools. Evelyn became involved with Northwest Center in the 1960’s, forming an inclusive schooling system.
Evelyn’s fight for those with developmental disabilities continued into the 1970’s. Working with two University of Washington law students, they successfully wrote and lobbied for the “Education for All” Law (House Bill 90), a law that not only mandated Washington public schools educate all children, but also declared schools failing to comply would lose funding. This law was later used as a model for national legislation.
Evelyn’s commitment to human rights and community service was the guiding beacon of her career. Working for the City of Seattle for over 30 years, she was heavily involved with programs advocating for women and children, immigrant families and people with disabilities.
Northwest Center will honor the everlasting legacy of Evelyn Chapman as we continue to promote the growth, development and independence of people with developmental disabilities through programs of education, rehabilitation and work opportunity. Keeping our inspirational founders in mind, we proudly continue her fight to make the world a more inclusive place.
Northwest Center is passionate about equal rights, anti-ableism, and full inclusion for people with disabilities. Thank you for reading.