An American Minority’s Road to Rights
It may be the least-publicized revolution of our time but the one whose impact ultimately reaches the furthest, affecting the way our buildings and buses are built, the way our schools are structured, the way our businesses conduct hiring and outfit their work stations. It’s the disability-rights movement, and “Lives Worth Living,” a Thursday “Independent Lens” on PBS, reconstructs how it emerged and eventually pushed through the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990.
The film opens with images from the past that are chillingly grim, especially those from the Willowbrook State School for children with intellectual disabilities on Staten Island, a nightmarish place exposed by, among others, a young television reporter named Geraldo Rivera in 1972. (Recent headlines have made clear that, four decades later, such problems persist in some places.) “There was a belief,” Ann Ford, director of the Illinois chapter of the National Council on Independent Living, says bluntly, “that if you had a disability, you didn’t have any desire to live a life.”
It was the return of injured veterans from World War II that began to shake that assumption. The veterans, viewed as heroes, were not being written off, and those born with disabilities started to think that they shouldn’t be either. The filmmakers interview some of the central figures in the formation of the movement, who talk about learning from the feminist and civil rights causes. Oddly, buses were again important, as Bob Kafka of the group Adapt notes....
comments powered by Disqus
- Neanderthal 'Art' Found In Cave Sheds Surprising New Light On Ancient Intelligence
- Midterm Election Mind-Reading: The Market Tends to Win
- Proof surfaces for affair between Queen Victoria and her male assistant
- Could humans cause another Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum?
- Vikings are having a great year!
- Pro-Israel website chides Middle East Studies professors, claiming they’re apologists for Hamas
- UCLA Economist, Known as Railroad Historian, Dies at 89
- David Rosand, an Art History Scholar Whose Heart Was in Venice, Dies at 75
- NYT interviews Rick Perlstein about his book
- OAH issues a statement in support of the AP standards