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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Parenting and the ADA

I just wrote a paper about raising my son. I had great fun writing this essay as I was flooded with warm memories and the baseless prejudice I encountered. In short the essay discusses how my son and the ADA came of age. The essay appeared in the Houston Law Review and is in part a celebration of the ADA.

Below is the opening paragraph and link to my full essay.


PARENTING AND DISABILITY: THE FINAL FRONTIER

William J. Peace

My life was transformed on July 26, 1990. I sat in front of a television and became teary eyed as I watched President Bush sign the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).1 He declared that the ADA was the beginning of “a bright new era of equality, independence, and freedom” for the then estimated 43 million people in the United States living with a disability.2 I was overjoyed. I believed that the ADA would end discrimination against people with disabilities. After forty years of progressive legislation designed to empower people with disabilities, disability rights law had reached its zenith. Millions of people with disabilities were not going to be barred from employment opportunities. The ADA would ensure that accessing mass transportation would be easy and accessible housing was going to become commonplace. There was no question the ADA was going to revolutionize my life and the lives of countless others. I was an American and now shared the same civil rights as those Americans without a disability took for granted. I was a true believer. 

Link:  http://www.houstonlawreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Peace-Parenting-and-Disability_FINAL.pdf

3 comments:

Nessie Siler said...

It never ceases to amaze me that over 25 years post ADA, no one really expects people with disabilities to show up anywhere. The sight of a bipedal person's mild shock upon seeing me is wearing thin upon me, after more than 35 years of experiencing it. Oy...

william Peace said...

Nessie, Oh my you made me laugh. I was traveling most of last week. I stayed at good hotels and motels and one bad motel. They had one thing in common: desk staff that appeared to be stunned when I went in the door. One hotel desk employee told me "I had no idea people like you could drive". This level of ignorance never ceases to amaze me.

Nessie Siler said...

If I didn't laugh, I'd cry, so it's best to laugh about it if at all possible. :) I still think having a Disability Services Liaison is a great idea Now if we could just get hotels to see that employing them a win/win for all...