How has the ADA impacted your life regarding travel/mobility, education, employment, or any other aspect?
Without ADA I would not being able to thrive in school the way that I currently do. Unlike many people my age (16) I do know what it’s like to be denied disability services. I had to fight for every accommodation I received. Without ADA that sort of discrimination would have been legal and gone without any consequences.
Can you share a “before and after” experience; e.g., before the ADA I couldn’t do X or was denied access to Y, and thanks to the ADA I can do Z.
I have never lived in a time without ADA, but that did not stop my school district from denying me services that I vitally needed. Before I received my accommodations I was constantly fighting with my parents and teachers. Every time I had to read or write I threw a tantrum because if I was yelling no one would notice I couldn’t read. My life before receiving services was a constant fight with own insecurity as well as with some of the people I loved the most. Now I’m an all A’s student with a 4.0 GPA in high school. I advocate for myself and make sure that everyone knows what I need to be successful. I no longer hide from my disability. I embrace it.
What advances in disability rights would you like to see in the next 30 years?
I would like more education to be provided to disabled students and their parents. Thousands of schools are bullying students and parents into unjust education decisions and that cannot stand. It is vital that you know your rights and are willing to fight for them.