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Sarah Riesz

Identifier: 1

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Scope and Contents

From the Collection:

The Elizabeth Riesz papers date from 1966 - 2015 and measure 22.5 linear inches. The collection is arranged into five series: Sarah Riesz (1974-2002), Publications (1984-2010), Services for People with Disabilities (1977-1982), Services for People with Disabilities, Japan (1997-2006), and Correspondence (1966-2015).

The Sarah Riesz series (1974-2002) documents the education and work placement progress of Elizabeth Riesz’s daughter Sarah, who was born with Down syndrome. Sarah Riesz was among the first children with disabilities to be integrated into the Iowa City public school system. Her early years coincided with an expansion of supported work and supported living opportunities for people with disabilities. The series includes progress reports from her teachers and doctors, school work completed by Sarah, and newspaper articles that feature her.

The Publications series consists of books authored by Elizabeth Riesz along with newspaper clippings related to these books. First Years of a Child with Down Syndrome describes Riesz’s early experiences in parenting her daughter, Sarah. The book was first published in 1978 and reprinted in 1984. The series contains copies of the book along with the Japanese translation and an updated introduction. Riesz’s second book, Let’s Cook! Healthy Meals for Independent Living is a cook book aimed at adults with special needs. It is part of a series entitled “On My Own.”

The Services for People with Disabilities series focuses on organizations that serve and advocate for people with disabilities in Johnson County, Iowa as well as the laws that benefit the disabled population. It includes a booklet about the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rieszs’ and other parents’ correspondence with the Iowa City Public School District regarding special education. Additionally, the series has newspaper clippings and administrative materials related to Goodwill of the Heartland and the Arc of Southeast Iowa in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Services for People with Disabilities, Japan series begins with several files on Dr. Naoya Yoda’s biography of Lois Kramer, a missionary to Japan who established the Japan Oral School for the Deaf in 1920. These files include a summary of the project, correspondence relating to its progress, and photocopies of documents from the life of Lois Kramer. The bulk of this series contains documents from Riesz’s trips to Japan. In 1997 and 2000, Riesz traveled to Japan to speak about the development of services for people with disabilities, especially those with Down syndrome, in Johnson County, Iowa. This series contains some texts and transparencies used for her presentations, her notes, and trip itineraries. There are also trip itineraries and notes related to groups from Osaka, Japan that visited Iowa City and Cedar Rapids in 1998 and 2000.

The Correspondence series contains letters to Elizabeth and Peter Riesz from friends in Japan. They are arranged alphabetically by last name.


  • Creation: 1966-2015


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.


From the Collection: 22.50 linear inches

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)