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  • Writer's pictureDixie Frantz

ADA Celebrates 33rd Anniversary

Yesterday was the 33rd anniversary of the ADA (American with Disabilities Act) which was signed by President George H.W. Bush in 1990. At the time of the signing of this important legislation, Mimi was six years old.

I actually covered one of the ADA signing anniversaries for our local newspaper. I am not certain which year it was. Probably the 20th or 25th. I recall feeling so honored to be in the large ballroom at The Houstonian. I remember when then former President Bush, and other dignitaries, took the podium to remember and celebrate.

Today, I remember Judith Ellen Heumann, who was born in 1947, and some years later contracted polio. She passed away on March 4, 2023, and will be remembered as the "Mother of the Disability Rights Movement." I first learned about Heumann while watching a documentary on Netflix entitled "Crip Camp." It is a worthy watch. The struggle was real.

The photograph above is from 2011. We were picking up Mimi's new wheelchair. Every five years, Mimi was "allowed" by Medicaid to receive a new wheelchair. What a project that was. Read the book and you will cry with me about how hard Medicaid made it.

Fast forward to 2023, I am thankful for the changes the United States has made over the past 33 years. I am in favor of handicapped parking, curb cutouts, accessible bathrooms, buildings, and transportation. Those accommodations benefit not just those with special needs, but mothers with strollers, and the elderly. Did I mention how lovely it was sitting with Mimi on the front handicapped-designated row when our new church was built? But there is still much work to be done before those with special needs will feel like an integral part of society that is respected and valued.

As always, if you have purchased "A Joyful Embrace: A Memoir" on Amazon, I would be most grateful for a review! Let me know and I'll hug your neck! Also, if you are in a book club or organization that would benefit from Mimi's message, I would love to attend.

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