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 Charleston Gazette

By Eric Eyre
Staff writer

A national bus tour exhibit about the disability rights movement will make a stop this weekend at the South Charleston Wal-Mart on Corridor G.
West Virginia leads the nation with more than 27 percent of residents reporting they are disabled, according to national health surveys. Nearly 10 percent of West Virginians have health problems that require special equipment — also the highest rate in the United States.

The bus tour includes a multimedia display about the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act and photographs from Tom Olin, whose work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

“The Act is extremely important here in West Virginia because we have so many people with disabilities,” said David Stewart, coordinator for the West Virginia ADA Coalition. The “Road to Freedom Tour” has stopped at 65 events in 44 states during the past year, a journey that has stretched more than 20,000 miles. The exhibits explain the struggle for disability rights and promote the expansion of educational and economic opportunities for children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities.

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Indiana Post-Tribune,adabus.article

MERRILLVILLE — Life since the Americans with Disabilities Act has improved in a way that a road full of potholes spot-filled with asphalt is improved: It’s better but still fundamentally flawed.

People with disabilities have better access to buildings and have their own washrooms and parking spaces, said Jim Ward, president of ADA Watch and the National Coalition of Disability Rights, during his stop at Everybody Counts, Inc. on Wednesday.

But that’s only one small fraction of a larger issue that continues to leave much of the population sliding through the cracks, he said. Ward and his family have been touring the country for the past year in their “Road to Freedom” bus. They have stopped at 65 events in 44 states, spreading both the victories and obstacles of the ADA through a display shot by photographer Tom Olin.

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The Republican Newspaper

By Diane Lederman

AMHERST – About 50 people, some in wheelchairs, some on crutches or with service dogs, gathered yesterday to welcome the Road to Freedom bus to Stavros Center for Independent Living.

James Ward, president of the National Coalition for Disability Rights, has been traveling around the country in his red, white and blue bus since November with his wife and two children to teach people about the Americans with Disabilities Act and to listen to stories about how the act is failing to protect those who need it.

His stop here was one of about 60 across the country, a journey that has stretched more than 20,000 miles, he said.

Ward, who said he suffers from an invisible disability – mental illness – was also collecting signatures that he will bring to Congress urging the approval of the ADA Restoration Act that will address some of the problems with the act that was approved 17 years ago. Read the rest of this entry »

 WAMC Public Radio

Campaign To Toughen ADA Visits Amherst, Massachusetts

AMHERST, MA (2007-10-17) A national campaign to strengthen the Americans with Disabilities Act , called The Road to Freedom, rolled into the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts this afternoon…WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports…..

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 New Haven Register

By Mark Zaretsky  

NEW HAVEN — If you’re someone without a disability, you may think that when Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, it took care of problems people with disabilities may have with accessibility and opportunity. But a traveling “freedom tour” landed on the New Haven Green Sunday, and dozens of Connecticut disabilities rights advocates spent the day spreading the message that 17 years later, the ADA is threatened. And particularly threatened by some court decisions by judges who opted to narrowly interpret the law. The advocates say the law is in need of protection, reinforcement and, in some cases, repair.

The event on the Green celebrated “disability culture.” The Road to Freedom Bus Tour, a project of ADA Watch and the National Coalition for Disability Rights, is touring all 50 states to urge Congress to keep the promise of the ADA and build support for passage of the proposed ADA Restoration Act in order to do that.

“We feel that the Americans with Disabilities Act over the years has been weakened by a lot of the court cases,” said Heather Northrup, coordinator of CT-KASA, which is an acronym for “Connecticut Kids As Self Advocates.”

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The fifty—state Road to Freedom Tour visited Connecticut last week, and due to the outstanding effort of several dozen individuals and organizations it was an unqualified success. The three-stop visit was coordinated by the Disability Advocacy Collaborative.

The Tour concluded with a rousing welcome at the State Capitol the afternoon of Monday, October 15 attended by 70 advocates and disability rights supporters. The highlight of the Capitol stop was a commitment by First District Congressman John Larson to support the ADA Restoration Act. Larson had been the only member of the State’s Congressional delegation that had not signed on as a Co-Sponsor of the Act.

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