Editor's Note: Over the next week, we will sharing a number of different voices reflecting on the 25th anniversary of the ADA. Be sure to follow and share!
Jubilation was in the air on July 26th 1990 when President George Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). “And today, America welcomes into the mainstream of life all of our fellow citizens with disabilities. We embrace you for your abilities and for your disabilities, for our similarities and indeed for our differences, for your past courage and your future dreams,” President Bush asserted.
At last we were recognized as a part of the fabric of American society, history, and potential.
"Words simultaneously reflect and reinforce our attitudes and perceptions; words shape our world."
-- Kathie Snow, "The Case Against 'Special Needs'"
As a person who has met life with a significant level of cerebral palsy, and as a lover of words and their nuances, I have, throughout my life, tracked the nomenclature that has been applied to those of us who don’t quite fit into established physical, intellectual, communication, sensory, psychological or social "norms."