2015 is rapidly coming to a close. As people with disabilities, 2015 gave us lots to celebrate. We had the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the 40th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and while these laws have made life better for generations we still have a lot of work that we need to do. Too many people with disabilities still live in institutions when they would rather live in their communities. Too many kids with disabilities still live down to the low expectations that most of society has for them. Too many members of society still believe that people with disabilities have nothing that they can contribute to their communities. We know, however, that isn’t true. We also know that as people with disabilities we have the power to set the disability agenda if we decided to do that. Justin Dart once said to “get into politics as if your life depends on it. It does.” Let’s make 2016 the year that we heed those words and make sure our elected officials know what we want and work to make that happen.
Written by: Roger Frischenmeyer