You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2007.

Click here to go to the photo gallery for this bus stop. 

(St. Louis, Missouri) Advocates and supporters packed into the Missouri History Museum on July 28 to welcome the Road To Freedom bus and crew and to hear local and national leaders call for restoration of the ADA. The event was produced by Paraquad, a private, not-for-profit community-based Center for Independent Living in partnership with the museum and with community partners including Cohen Hilberry Architects, Impact, Inc., Joni & Friends Gateway, and Linc, Inc. Road To Freedom Bus Stop at Missouri History MuseumThe speakers panel for the afternoon included Moderator Jim Tuscher, Paraquad; Jim Ward, ADA Watch and The Road to Freedom; David Newburger, Newburger and Vossmeyer, LLC and the Starkloff Disability Institute; Kyle Tate, Paraquad; Gina Hillberry, Cohen Hillberry Architects; and Max Starkloff, Starkloff Disability Institute. Read the rest of this entry »

(Washington, DC) We left the Freedom Bus behind in Chicago and jumped on a flight to be in Washington for the introduction of the ADA Restoration Act of 2007 on its 17th anniversary. ADA Watch has worked in coalition with the disability community in drafting and advocating for the introduction of this bill for more than 7 years now. It was an exciting day to be on the West steps of the U.S. Capitol overlooking the Mall as Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), and Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) announced the introduction of the ADA Restoration Act while surrounded by other members of Congress, as well as advocates including ADA Watch’s Jim Ward, ADA Watch Co-Chair and Executive Director of NDRN, Curt Decker, Marcie Roth, Becky Ogle, Andy Imparato, Elizabeth Goldberg and others. Read the rest of this entry »

(Chicago, Illinois) On July 25th, the day before the 17th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Freedom Bus and crew drove into the cavernous Festival Hall on Chicago’s Navy Pier for Access Chicago, the Midwest’s largest free exhibition of products and services for people with disabilities. It was also at this event where the city of Chicago was honored as the runner up in the National Organization on Disability’s (NOD) Accessible America Competition. Karen Tamley, the Commissioner of Mayor Daley’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD), accepted the $10,000 Accessible America prize from our good friend and colleague, NOD President Michael Deland.  Access Chicago is produced by the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities.  Under the direction of Commissioner Tamley, the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) seeks to meet the diverse needs of the more than 600,000 people with disabilities who live and work in Chicago.  The Road to Freedom pulled alongside several accessibible city buses which were part of a program that included adaptive sporting events, music and information booths representing hundreds of products and services.

(Chicago, Illinois) The Freedom Bus crew had the pleasure of joining a large group of advocates, board members and supporters at Access Living in Chicago. President and CEO, Marca Bristo welcomed speakers and participants at the new Access Living building, a beautiful universally designed headquarters that just opened. The featured speaker for the event was Gerard Quinn of Ireland, an international disability rights lawyer, who addressed how independent living is reflected in the Convention and the politics behind it. Marca and Gerard shared their personal stories about the behind-the-scenes sweat and tears that went into this work. Read the rest of this entry »

(Chicago, Illinois) The Freedom Bus traveled to Chicago on July 21, where we joined thousands in celebrating our disabilities at the annual Disability Pride Parade. With Tom Olin at the wheel, the bus joined floats, accessible vehicles and advocates who followed the 1/2 mile parade route to Daley Plaza for the post-parade celebration. Jim and Deb and the boys walked along the bus greeting participants and talking up ADA Restoration.

With the bus parked near the many organizational booths on the Plaza, Jim Ward took to the stage to call on participants to view the exhibit and sign the petition. His remarks were part of a long program of advocates and entertainers promoting disability pride. Read the rest of this entry »

(Milwaukee, Wisconsin) With more than 200 attendees braving the weather, Milwaukee’s Road to Freedom event was coordinated by IndependenceFirst, one of the tour’s biggest sponsors. Being the “City of Festivals,” IndependenceFirst staff wanted to plan an event with music and entertainment that was inclusive of performers with disabilities. Alie Kriofske Mainella, Youth Leadership Specialist and Carol Voss, Public Relations and Marketing Manager headed up the planning committee with the help of Executive Director Lee Schulz, Associate Director Karen Avery and staff members Diana Sullivan and Patti Stengel. Read the rest of this entry »

From guest blogger Fil Clissa:
(Madison, Wisconsin) On Saturday July 14, Survival Coalition members and disability advocates greeted the 37 foot Freedom Bus and crew in front of the Public Library in Madison, WI. This event coincided with the Art Fair on the Square, one Madison’s signature events. The event attracted thousands of people who enjoyed the art, food and live music. We were joined by members of the local disability community — and some ADAPT members who traveled hours all the way from Superior — and together we were able to catch the attention of hundreds of people walking to and from the Art Fair.We passed out over 400 promotional Disability Rights “Fans” and take action cards and gathered petition signatures to support the ADA Restoration Act. Read the rest of this entry »

The Road To Freedom bus crew had every intention to make the long journey to join the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) in Washington, DC for their annual conference — this year celebrating 25 years of leadership. Well, with the fact-paced schedule we have been keeping and the need to catch-up on work (including updating this blog!) we painfully decided to take a needed pit-stop here in Wisconsin. We did want to celebrate with everyone so we sent off a letter that was read at the conference by NCIL executive director, John Lancaster. Read the rest of this entry »

(Milwaukee, Wisconsin) The Freedom Bus rolled into Milwaukee and the first stop on our schedule was with our number one sponsor, IndependenceFirst.  Executive Director, Lee Schultz and his wife, Julie, treated the road crew — including the kids! — to lunch downtown. We then went on a tour of the center and met the staff of IndependenceFirst. The center is one of the largest independent living centers in the country with more than 90 in-house staff members and 1200 community care providers.  Read the rest of this entry »

Click here to view the photo gallery of this bus stop event.

(Sioux Falls, South Dakota) We pulled into the Empire Mall in Sioux Falls and were greeted by the bus stop coordinator, Ryan Green of the state Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) as he was finishing up a TV interview about the event. We were soon joined by Shelly Pfaff of the South Dakota Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities, whose member organizations helped organize and set up resource centers at the event. We were very proud to also be welcomed to Sioux Falls by Mayor Dave Munson. Read the rest of this entry »

(Keystone, South Dakota) The Road To Freedom tour crew was very proud to celebrate Independence Day on July 4th at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, South Dakota. It took some work to position the bus just right for Tom Olin‘s photograph of the bus in front of the huge carved images of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln (including getting stuck on a tiny deadend dirt road in the woods and having to back out with the trailer on the back!). We hiked on a fully accessible trail to the base of the monument and could not help put think of Justin Dart quoting these leaders — especially Lincoln and Jefferson — in relation to the disability rights struggle.  Read the rest of this entry »