Beatrice Wright

Obituary
  • "She was my academic advisor during my doctoral training at..."
    - Kenneth Sewell
  • "The Psychology department at the University of Kansas would..."
    - Psychology Department

Madison/Lawrence, Kansas - Beatrice Ann Wright, December 16, 1917-July 31, 2018.

Beatrice A. Wright, Ph.D., played a leading role in changing social thought about the experience of people with disabilities and influenced social policy about their full inclusion into every domain of life. Her commitment to the personal dignity and human rights of all, regardless of their level of physical or mental ability was the overarching theme of her scholarship, teaching, and advocacy work for more than 75 years. Her two books, Physical Disability –a Psychological Approach (1960) and the substantially revised and expanded second edition, Physical Disability – a Psychosocial Approach (1983), redefined the field of rehabilitation. She received the American Psychologist Gold Medal for life achievement in psychology in the public interest in 2016.

Beatrice Posner married M.Erik Wright (M.D., Ph.D.) when they were graduate students in 1940. Until his death in 1981, he remained her sweetheart, colleague, and closest companion. Beatrice, as a parent, placed a high value on intellectual pursuits and was a very enthusiastic supporter of the projects and creativity of their three children, Colleen S.W. Rand, Erik O. Wright, and Woodring E. Wright. All three children profited immensely from her support and love. Beatrice is survived by her children, 7 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren. She will be buried next to her husband in Lawrence, Kansas.

Memorial donations may be made to KU Endowment in support of the Beatrice A. Wright Faculty Scholarship in Health and Rehabilitation Fund. Send donations to KU Endowment, P.O. Box 928, Lawrence, KS 66044 or give online at www.kuendowment.org/

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Published in Lawrence Journal-World on Aug. 12, 2018