This week marked the 21st anniversary of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It’s amazing if I think about it how much we take for granted – access to buildings and services, transition planning, improved school accommodations… – was not available everywhere before this act was passed.
I’ve heard a few people with Moebius say that they don’t feel as if they are part of the disability community, but I feel the opposite. I was lucky to attend my state’s Youth Leadership Forum for students with disabilities in high school, where I learned about disability history and met hundreds of other students with disabilities. We often exist in a vacuum – most times, we are the only person with a disability or one of very few in an organization or activity. I found that becoming involved with the disability community gave me much-needed perspective when I faced difficulties due to having been born with Moebius syndrome.
In light of this, I also think it is important to recognize where we fit in with the larger disability community and follow developments, legislation and advocacy related to both craniofacial conditions and other rare disorders. It makes me feel as if I am doing all I can to remain educated and involved. And to me, that is the objective of the ADA: to allow people with disabilities to be active, involved community members.