ADA was well observed by the media including both local newspapers. There were many fine editorials by people with disabilities about the 25th anniversary of the ADA. It was fun to see if the luminaries quoted were people I know from advocate listservs. In one case it was. Steve Brown’s editorial referred to some of his poems: http://www.instituteondisabilityculture.org/examples-of-our-disability-culture-3-of-steves-poems.html
In the “what’s left to be done” category, it’s particularly ironic that on Parents’ Day (also July 26 this year), there are 35 states in which a child can be removed from a parent’s custody due to the parent’s disability status alone.
Now that ADA 25 has been celebrated and pronouncements have been made, it’s time to get back to regular life.
Maybe this post should be called “Monday after the Miracle” like William Gibson’s sequel to The Miracle Worker. In it, Helen Keller has started a successful writing career with the help of her teacher, Anne Sullivan. She must struggle to adjust to Sullivan’s marriage to John Macy and her own emerging sexuality. Monday after the ADA anniversary, the 19% of us with disabilities go on with our lives too, day by day.
I just got done fixing my landline which wasn’t working by talking on my cellphone with a SIRI-like automatic program and aided by a sighted person telling me what color various modem lights were. The sighted friend had to trot up and down stairs and answer my questions. SIRI voice at one point chastised me that I should talk only to her because “she could hear everything and was getting confused.” Apparently she hadn’t considered I might need to ask the sighted person for relevant info. Then when we did fix it, I wanted to hang up and it took us about three minutes to figure out how to end the call on the cellphone; she didn’t want to part with us. If I was a comedian I could do a great skit of it with the sighted person trotting up and down the stairs to answer questions and plug and unplug cords on demand. Progress!
The pizza party and sculpture tour to celebrate the 25th anniversary of ADA was another good example of every day ADA. I had to change the default temperature on the oven to 425 degrees to cook the pizza. I thought I had learned what buttons to push on the flat screen to do this, but apparently not. So three PH.D.s were trying to figure it out without the manual which we couldn’t find. One friend and I went online but she couldn’t read the fine print because her reading glasses were at home. The other gal stood by the stove pushing buttons, supervised by the two dogs who would have gladly eaten the pizza raw. Somehow she got it working. The pizza was excellent, the sculpture tour was fun and we laughed together about technology. Thank God for friends both two- and four-legged.