I was born in 1947. And in 1949, there was another polio epidemic and I had polio. When I was 5 years old, my mother took me to school to register me. And that was the first time that I think they really understood that having a disability meant not being equal, because the principal denied me admission into the school because I was a fire hazard. And I had no kindergarten.
We were being disregarded, not having ramps, not having accessible bathrooms, not being able to get across the street, not being able to get on buses, not being able to get in trains, being denied the right to go to school. And then as you were going to colleges and universities, also being denied the right to study in fields that we wanted to because universities had prejudice about the kinds of jobs that they thought we could do.
One of the important parts I think of the celebration of the ADA, in my view, is what’s going to happen the day after. The issue is the ADA will continue to go forward. The average person needs to understand why what the disability community is arguing for is not just for us, it’s for everybody.