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Showing Revision 5 created 11/09/2020 by A.McFar.

  1. Hi, my name is Matthew Wangeman.
  2. I teach Disability Studies
    at Northern Arizona University.
  3. I have been a disability advocate
  4. for over 30 years.
  5. I went to the University of California
    at Berkeley,
  6. so I have been very lucky in my life.
  7. My first memory of the ADA
  8. was three years after it was passed,
  9. because I was in Berkeley
  10. and Berkeley had stronger laws
    than the ADA.
  11. So I really did not know or care
    about the ADA at that time.
  12. And the interesting thing is
  13. in Berkeley and in California
  14. people with disabilities were talking
    about how the ADA was less strong
  15. for people with disabilities
    in California and Berkeley.
  16. So when I first learned about the ADA
  17. I was living in an area that had stronger rules and regulations for people with disabilities than the ADA had put in.
  18. So I did not care that much
    about it at the time.
  19. I think the ADA has helped with
    accessibility
  20. all around the United States.
  21. That is to me probably one of
    the most important things that the ADA has accomplished
  22. I really think the ADA is
    a great civil rights law
  23. and it has put disability
    on the map in this country.
  24. But for people with
    significant disabilities
  25. the ADA has not done that much
    in the grand scheme.
  26. Like employment is a great example.
  27. We are still at the same rate of
    employment as before the ADA.
  28. I think given where this country is today
    the ADA could not be stronger.
  29. In fact, given today the ADA
    would not pass,
  30. and that is sad.
  31. I really think our education system needs
    to be changed
  32. and even though the ADA really
    does not cover education, it should
  33. In order to have people with disabilities
    included in this society
  34. they need to have a quality education
  35. and special education is not cutting it.
  36. So if I had my way,
  37. I would throw out special education
  38. and have one education system
    for everyone.
  39. It is stupid to have two
  40. and to me it should be illegal to have a separate education system
  41. I would have the ADA
    cover education as well.
  42. Just to really believe that people
    with disabilities have the same rights as everyone else
  43. and I'd like to say:
  44. we can have all the laws in the world,
  45. but if people's attitudes do not change, we are just spinning our wheels.
  46. And I use a wheelchair.
  47. And if my wheelchair just spins its wheels
    I don't seem to go anywhere.