Spokesperson for the Disabled to Appear at WSU

PULLMAN, Wash. — Evelyne Villines, a leading national spokesperson for persons with
disabilities, will discuss “Making a Difference” when she appears on the WSU campus Monday,
April 26. She will speak at 2 p.m. in the CUB Cascade Room 123.
Villines was a victim of polio at age three. She spent seven years in a children’s hospital and
withstood 14 operations during her teen years. When she applied for her first job, she was told
she did not have to work because “there will always be someone to take care of you.” When she
finally did land a government job, she was offered $1,000 less than a man who applied for the
As a result of those experiences, Villines has spent her life fighting the barriers and
discrimination faced by persons with disabilities. She has won widespread recognition,
appointments to prestigious boards and numerous awards for her efforts.
Villines is currently a member of President Clinton’s Committee for Purchase from People
who are Blind or Severely Disabled.
She says the President’s committee is one of the most effective programs to help the
disabled find employment that she has ever seen. “Often the disabled, who have been trained to
work, can apply for job after job but cannot get hired because they have no work record. This
opens the doors in marvelous ways.”
Villines says the program provides employment through contracts with government
agencies. “The goal is to help disabled people gain experience and then find work in the private
sector without the aid of government contracts.”
Villines is an inductee into the National Hall of Fame for Persons with Disabilities and into
the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame.
Her visit to Washington State University is sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the
Disability Resource Center.