[Logo: Ampers radio station, with tagline that reads, Diverse Radio for Minnesota’s Communities.]
[Photo: John Lee Clark]
Speaker: Probably the best thing about being DeafBlind is being a member of our community. Being a member of a family, nothing beats it.
[Logo: Ampers radio station, with taglines that read, Diverse Radio for Minnesota’s Communities, and Keep Moving Forward.]
Host: This is Keep Moving Forward.
[Photo: President George H.W. Bush signs the Americans with Disabilities Act into law. Photo courtesy of the George Bush Presidential Library.]
George H.W. Bush: Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down.
[Logos: Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990-2015, and Disability Rights Are Civil Rights. Logos courtesy of the ADA National Network.]
Host: Exploring the legacy and promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
[Photos: John Lee Clark]
Speaker: I’m speaking on behalf of John Lee Clark, who is a second generation DeafBlind man who’s also a poet, a Braille instructor and a family man with a wife and three boys. These are his words.
Being DeafBlind in itself is wonderful. What we do in our community is to create our own worlds. We have our own culture, tactile language, values. In fact, I’m not conscious of being disabled most of the time.
Sure, we’re discriminated against, and yes, we face many challenges, but what I am is fine. What does need changing is the world. We’re not immune to the pain and frustration of coming up against a locked door.
One thing we often come up against is employers requiring credentials for jobs. Job descriptions are a very good way to legally discriminate against people with disabilities who may not be able to do one or two things listed, but who could do everything else, and even achieve those goals via alternative means. When things are set up to support who we are, our supposed disability disappears.
[Logos: the Minnesota Council on Disability, the Minnesota Humanities Center, the Minnesota Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund, and the Ampers radio station.]
Host: Keep Moving Forward is supported by the Minnesota Council on Disability, the Minnesota Humanities Center, and the Minnesota Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund, online at Ampers.org.