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    Hi, my name is Matthew Wangeman.
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    I teach Disability Studies
    at Northern Arizona University.
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    I have been a disability advocate
    for over 30 years.
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    I went to the University of California
    at Berkeley
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    so I have been very lucky in my life.
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    My first memory of the ADA was
    three years after it was passed
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    because I was in Berkeley
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    and Berkeley had stronger laws
    than the ADA
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    so I really did not know or care
    about the ADA at that time.
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    And the interesting thing is
    in Berkeley and in California
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    people with disabilities were talking
    about how the ADA was less strong
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    for people with disabilities
    in California and Berkeley.
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    So when I first learned about the ADA
    I was living in an area that had
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    stronger rules and regulations for people
    with disabilities than the ADA had put in.
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    So I did not care that much
    about it at the time.
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    I think the ADA has helped with
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    all around the United States.
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    That is to me probably one of
    the most important things
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    that the ADA has accomplished.
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    I really think the ADA is
    a great civil rights law
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    and it has put disability
    on the map in this country.
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    But for people with
    significant disabilities
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    the ADA has not done that much
    in the grand scheme.
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    Like employment is a great example.
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    We are still at the same rate of
    employment as before the ADA.
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    I think given where this country is today
    the ADA could not be stronger.
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    In fact, given today the ADA
    would not pass, and that is sad.
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    I really think our education system needs
    to be changed
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    and even though the ADA really
    does not cover education it should.
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    In order to have people with disabilities
    included in this society
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    they need to have a quality education
    and special education is not cutting it.
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    So if I had my way,
    I would throw out special education
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    and have one education system
    for everyone.
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    It is stupid to have two
    and to me it should be illegal
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    to have a separate education system.
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    I would have the ADA
    cover education as well.
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    Just to really believe that people
    with disabilities have the same rights
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    as everyone else and I'd like to say
    we can have all the laws in the world
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    but if people's attitudes do not change,
    we are just spinning our wheels.
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    And I use a wheelchair.
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    And if my wheelchair just spins its wheels
    I don't seem to go anywhere.
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Video Language:
ABILITY Magazine
Alp Batukan published English subtitles for
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