By Guest Blogger Alice Wong, Founder and Project Coordinator, Disability Visibility Project
There has been a deluge of articles, stories, and blog posts on the upcoming 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Any anniversary of a major historic moment provides people with an opportunity to reflect, celebrate, and look ahead. Here is my personal ADA story.
I was a junior in high school when President George H.W. Bush signed the ADA on July 26, 1990. Growing up in suburban Indianapolis as the only wheelchair-using student in almost all of my classes throughout high school, I was an incredibly self-conscious, over-compensating, angry young disabled woman who had few connections with the disability community. Honestly, I do not remember any excitement or interest in the signing of the ADA during that time period. It makes me laugh remembering my younger self: angsty and insecure, filled with internalized ableism and searching for my tribe.
Slowly, I began to develop my disability identity and it fortunately coincided with the passage and implementation of the ADA. Information about civil rights, accessibility, and public accommodations couldn’t come at a more perfect time as I planned my education and career. I came to realize that I was protected under the ADA and entitled to equal access like everyone else.
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