July 26, 1990.
The day that changed the lives of over 61 million Americans.
The day the ADA was signed.
But how did we get here? How did we reach this place after being refused for so long?
March 12, 1990.
An unusually hot day.
The day that dozens of incapacitated pioneers
Men and women,
Children and adults,
cast aside their mobility devices;
their wheelchairs, their walkers, their canes
and slowly made the grueling journey to the Capitol building,
up the 78 steps to equality.
Were you scared? Your hours of labor could have been for nothing, your voices falling flat on this sacred freedom monument.
Hours of crawling, climbing, creeping up the white marble steps
hoping and praying that someone would listen.
What was it like to reach the top?
Hot, sweaty, exhausted, and parched,
but overwhelmingly, triumphantly relieved?
Taking a break to catch your breath after fighting your war peacefully
You've proved your point, you've made your mark, you've screamed into the void and shown that you won't take no for an answer
July 26, 1990.
For months later, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed.
A huge step for disabled rights.
You've won, you've done it, your voice is heard!
You are the forerunners to change, the heralds of equality
They've listened and understood.
July 26, 2021
The ADA? Pshh, no one really cares about that anymore, do they?
Your forward leap is sliding back
Thirty years later, no one remembers the Capitol Crawl.
It's not taught in schools.
It's not on the news.
They push your victory out of our minds.
But I know
This is for you, the brave outliers
Old, young, black, white, disabled and not,
who risked imprisonment to give millions a better life.
For a voice,
And for your perserverance.
July 26, 2051?