By Alice Wong
This article originally appeared in Teen Vogue. (https://www.teenvogue.com/story/disability-rights-how-to-help)
In this op-ed, the founder and director of the Disability Visibility Project, Alice Wong, explains the danger of H.R. 620 and how you can help protect disability rights.
What does it mean to be an activist? I became an accidental activist because this world was never built for me. For me, as a disabled woman of color with a progressive neuromuscular disability, every breath is an act of resistance and activism.
I graduated from high school two years after the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) passed in 1990. It took me a long time understand the influence of this law on my sense of identity and pride as a disabled person. I no longer had to ask “nicely” for access or put up with discrimination. I had a law that represented my lived experience and my community. I could refer to the ADA and say that disability rights are civil and human rights.
Tomorrow, a bill will go for a vote in the House that will weaken the ADA and make it harder for disabled people to fully enjoy the world with their friends and family. The bill is called H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017.
For more than 27 years, businesses and public entities have been required to provide reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. The ADA changed the opportunities disabled people have in every aspect of life.
Read the rest of the article here: https://www.teenvogue.com/story/disability-rights-how-to-help