The ADA. Here is another view. A view you rarely hear. A view from the other side of disabled parenting. For you see those children with disabilities, they grow up and you are faced with their disability and yours in a different light.
Only these days I feel do you truly see the effect of the ADA. Those years of Early Intervention and social skills classes are far behind you but still their effects shine bright in the present world. Its effects take roots in ways which non-disabled people may not even notice.
These are little successes that other people take for granted. Adults who are able to hold a job, drive, even communicate effectively. It is only through the eyes of one who has escorted these children step by step, through issue after issue that the true power the ADA truly becomes stunning.
Yet, as those you had assisted for so many years, soar on the wings of their successes and yours, the disability you all share, slowly pulls you to the ground of reality again. For the caretaker, age begins to mingle with disability, soon making it unclear which is which.
This mingling reminds you of how far we, as the disabled community, have yet to go. There are doors that don’t automatically open, rural areas with no transportation, streets without curb cuts and general miscommunication between the disabled and non-disabled world.
Then there is the caretaking aspect. The future planning that needs to be done. As you battle with your own health, you begin to realize that now is not forever and you start to plan. The planning with of agencies where you don’t quite fit. The reams and reams of paperwork filled out only to be told no you need to talk to someone else.
Despite all of this though, we celebrate the successes of the ADA while we continue to fight for all of our futures. For we know that the laying those bricks forward that we do will build a path for those who come after us, even when we no longer can build the path ourselves.