Americans With Disabilities Act Turns 20

Now & Then, the blog of the American Social History Project, has a nice historical reflection by Leah Nahmias on the 20th anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act.

Here is a taste:

The other night I saw a public service announcement on television in which President Obama marks the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. My first reaction was, wow, 20 years already! My second reaction was to reflect on the efforts of ordinary people to effect such a profound change in the American landscape and society.

The disability rights movement fits squarely within the broader context of the civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Activists borrowed demonstration tactics and the language of the black freedom struggle and the women’s movement. (One of my favorite images in the Smithsonian’s online exhibit about the disability rights movements is of a “black power” fist superimposed with “wheelchair access” icon.)*