I recently watched Crip Camp on Netflix. The documentary was about disabled people in the 1970s and 1980s. It featured the life and the political activism. They were fighting for the rights that I have now. I knew that the Americans With Disabilities Act was fairly young. However, I did not realize that it was only the generation before me who made my amazing life easier.
I was born in 1977 and, in 5th grade, I was mainstreamed into a public school where I was the first person in a wheelchair in the district. Throughout high school, I was provided with an assistant and had a robust social life. When I entered college, I had access to a whole department dedicated to students with disabilities. I was provided accommodations for classes and tests. When I go out on the town, the last thing on my mind is whether or not there will be ramps or even if I can use the restroom.
The United States made an important decision that disabled people will be included in life. It’s not perfect, but it’s amazing. I can travel. I can find a handicapped accessible hotel room. I can even pull up to a handicapped accessible bar. I even rode a wheelchair that could go in the ocean.
While I watching this amazing documentary, I could not help but appreciate the amazing sacrifices that these spunky disabled people made on my behalf.
Having recently watched Crip Camp on Netflix, I realized the my life as a disabled person has drastically been improved by those in the generation before me. Without them, the advancements we have today may not exist.