This project began as a book about how the disability rights movement originated and progressed, and my insider story of the making of the ADA. After a few decades of writing, and with the 30th anniversary of the ADA rapidly approaching, I realized that a different medium and format would make my objective a reality sooner and more effectively. As a result, ADAchronicles.org was born!
At the launch of this site, prior to the July 26, 2020, anniversary, I’m about half-way toward my goal for content. The site has five main menu items: Stories & Essays; My Roots & Disability; The Disability Rights Movement; The Making of the ADA; and ADA 1990 & Beyond. Each menu item has a summary page. Three of the five menu items currently contain content. The Stories & Essays section comprises five stories. I have plenty more stories that I’m looking forward to writing, many ideas for essays, and a vision of multiple testimonials about my personal heroes. Two of the three parts within the “My Roots & Disability” section have content about my early years with a disability and my family background. Yet to be added are the parts about my crucial surgery that resulted in increased mobility of my right shoulder and arm, and the years after that from high school through college.
I can’t wait to chronicle how I witnessed and participated in the beginning and flowering of the disability rights movement, starting with landmark legal cases and the plight of people with disabilities in the early 1970s; and the founding of and important role played by the National Center for Law and the Handicapped; and continuing during my years at the Developmental Disabilities Law Project and the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.
As you might imagine, “The Making of the ADA” is a book unto itself! It contains six major sections so far. The first section details a concrete illustration of an experience I had with a client whose plight demonstrates why an ADA-type law was sorely needed. The second section discusses two pivotal documents I co-authored that laid the foundations for the ADA. The next sections follow my journey at the National Council on Disability, during the development and promotion of the ADA bill, to be followed by sections on congressional consideration and passage of the ADA, and what happened with its interpretation and enforcement in the courts and in society. To date, “The Making of the ADA” includes fifty-six parts and I’m not done yet!