On this day in 1990 disabled activists from across the nation joined together at the Capitol Building in Washington, DC, to demand equal rights and the passage of the ADA. After a day of rallys and speeches, those same activists abandoned their mobility devices - wheelchairs, canes, walkers - and literally crawled and pulled themselves up the 80-some-odd steps of the Capitol. A number of Senators and Representatives described the event as "annoying" or "inconvenient" but in July of the same year, the ADA was finally signed into law. Proof that direct action leads to results.
I was only 9 years old at the time and still more than 13 years from joining the disability community. There aren't enough words of thanks that I can share with those brave activists. Their strength and perseverance over many years are directly created a much better world. Disability rights in this country are nowhere near where they need be but without the brave actions of so many disabled people prior to 1990, things would be so much uglier. I can only hope that my own advocacy can prove as beneficial.