Does pity still apply to the post-ADA generation?
By Tim Redd
According to the U.S. 2010 Census Bureau 1 in 5 million Americans have a disability, which translates to 56.7 million people which is 20% of the population. People with disabilities comprise the largest minority group and yet are still not fully integrated into society. As a result people with disabilities are continuously engaged in a fight against many barriers that prevent complete independence. Why is that? To understand why you should definitely grab a drink and take a ride with Joseph P. Shapiro who offers an expansive overview of the disability movement.
“No Pity,” shares the remarkable story of advocate Ed
Roberts, the back ground of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the people first ideology, and the emergence of the reinvention of wheelchairs by Marilyn Hamilton Each one of these events led to the full integration and liberation of people with disabilities into society. He does not shy away from nursing home abuse and neglect. He shines the light on the issue of people being stuck in nursing homes against their will and several other topics as well.
As a person with a disability, I learned several things. I found the rich history of the disability movement intriguing. I must say that I don’t agree with the author’s perspective that society is pitiable toward those with disabilities. My life experience has been different in many ways and I don’t know if I have been met with much pity. My perspective is one that is very different than some described in the book.
I am a person with a disability pre- and post- ADA. The book beautifully humanizes people with disabilities and honors the true trail blazers who carried the mantle of activism for people with disabilities. “No Pity,” is a woven basket of history, exposure of inequality, and triumph. It shatters the need for pity and supports why activism and advocacy is an important work that continue until barriers are disintegrated and people with disabilities are able to live the lives they want without the influence of bureaucracy and bigotry.