Live not for Battles Won/ Live not for The-End-of-the-Song/
Live in the along. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks
A generation ago, on July 26, 1990, President George H. W.Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act. Next Wednesday, July 26, Minnesotans who continue to struggle for the cause will gather at the State Capitol for the Disability Rights March and Rally. Advocates will celebrate the positive impact of federal legislation even as they let it be known that the struggle continues. (http://www.disability.state.mn.us/2017/06/02/disability-rights-march-rally/) They will be coming together in a political and digital reality very different from that day of triumph in 27 years ago.
Clearly, this month’s March and Rally have great accomplishments to herald; signs of progress in implementation of the ADA are so commonplace as to be taken for granted. As a refresher, take time to view this blog post created by a few creative souls determined to give voice to women with disabilities in the January 2017 Women’s March. https://disabilitymarch.com
Today we live and breathe, study, work and play in a digital world. As the possibilities for people with disabilities expand exponentially institutions of every sort, from mighty bureaucracies to the faith community – struggle to seize the moment. What’s happening on the institutional front – including plans still waiting on the digital launch pad – pushes the boundaries that were but a gleam in the eye of ADA advocates a generation ago.
For those who are immersed in meeting the challenge this is chance to capitalize on progress, to prove the power of collaboration, to share the word of what’s possible. Organizations and institutions – small businesses, nonprofits, legislators themselves – may be unaware of the wealth of resources. The Rally offers an opening to share stories of digital possibilities. This is chance to demonstrate the amazing tools of digital access, starting with the mega toolkit created by the Minnesota State Council on Disabilities. (http://www.disability.state.mn.us/digital-accessibility/). The challenge is to share a vision of dynamic intellectual participation that was a rare possibility “back in the day”
Equally important, as the nation is led to question the fundamental right to vote, the rights of people with disabilities are a concern to legislators as well as every voter. This post might resonate with elected officials motivated to act in light of the March. https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2016/08/12/sharing-the-right-to-vote-the-right-the-reason-some-resources/
Emcee of the July 26 March and Rally is Kristen Jorenby, Director of the Center for Accessibility Resources (CAR) at Metropolitan State University. (http://www.metrostate.edu/student/student-services-support/student-services/center-for-accessibility-resources
In a pre-Rally interview Jorenby underscored the urgency of the July 26 Disability Rights March and Rally:
Given the current political climate, the community is really concerned about cuts to healthcare, their ability to remain independent and cuts to transportation funding. We have problems within the system that continue to exist. The ADA is a huge civil rights act. And this [event] is really a chance for people to celebrate that and reassert that they have this civil right, and they are not going to let them be taken away.”
If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress ~ Barack Obama