Disability News Service, Resources, Diversity, Americans with Disabilities Act; Local and National.

Friday, December 27, 2019

The Americans with Disabilities Act Signing Ceremony on July 26, 1990 : short video chronicles the historic event

The ADA stands as one of the most important civil rights documents in the history of the United States, as it guaranteed for the first time that all People with Disabilities have the right to participate fully as equal members in society.

Signing Ceremony for Americans with Disabilities Act - National Archives and Records Administration (1990-07-26 - ARC 1656530, LI 220-DISAB-1) 
South Lawn, White House

The short video chronicles the events of July 26, 1990, when four thousand people gathered on the South Lawn of the White House to witness then President George H.W. Bush sign the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law.

American History from the Presidential Libraries 
By Susan K. Donius, Director of the Office of Presidential Libraries, U.S. National Archives (posted July 26, 2012)

This year marks the 22nd (25th*) Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In 1990, President George H.W. Bush (RIP 2018) signed the Act into law on the White House South Lawn in front of an audience of 3,000 people. On that day, America became the first country to adopt a comprehensive civil rights declaration for people with disabilities.

The ADA was a landmark moment in history, designed to provide universal accessibility in the areas of employment, public service, public accommodations and telecommunications. As President Barack Obama noted in 2009 at the signing of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Proclamation, the ADA “was a formal acknowledgment that Americans with disabilities are Americans first, and they are entitled to the same rights and freedoms as everybody else: a right to belong and participate fully in the American experience; a right to dignity and respect in the workplace and beyond; the freedom to make of our lives what we will.”

Among the holdings of the Presidential Libraries of the National Archives are many letters, meeting notes, photos and White House memos that document the collaborative process of creating the ADA. The Presidential Libraries have protected and shared the records of every Presidential administration since 1929, and the history of people with disabilities is woven throughout.

Sierra Gregg is a second year intern in the Office of Presidential Libraries, who recognizes the importance of sharing Presidential records related to disability history. She has been closely involved in a project to make a selection of these documents accessible to a wide audience. The following post is written by Sierra, about the Americans with Disabilities research page that is now available on the National Archives website.

I was born visually impaired one year after the signing of the ADA. I have grown up in a world where my visual impairment is not a hindrance to my success, only a characteristic of who I am. The ADA has made it possible for me to get the help I need to work toward my academic and professional goals.

However, the story of disability civil rights did not start with the ADA and it certainly did not end on that day 22 years ago. The efforts to ensure independence and equality for people with disabilities have a long and fascinating history. Throughout the course of two summer internships, I have worked on the Presidential Libraries team to collect a small sample of records related to Americans with disabilities. This collection will be added to the research topic section of the National Archives’ website and will contain at least one record from every Presidential administration since Herbert Hoover.

Although the collection contains records related to different disabilities, the records directly related to visual impairments are particularly meaningful to me. I believe my favorite record in the collection is a Braille letter written to President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956 by then-thirteen-year-old John Beaulieu. I first saw the letter on display in the Public Vaults exhibit of the National Archives in Washington, D.C. I still wish I could read the words with my fingers instead of just listening to the description. I was duly impressed that Beaulieu wrote the letter using a slate and stylus; I never quite mastered the art of using the slate. In order to write using the slate and stylus a thick piece of paper is placed face down in the slate, the stylus is used to punch out dots in the paper. The trick is every letter has to be written backwards so it can be read when the page is flipped.

The collection also contains two letters written to President Herbert Hoover by Helen Keller. She wrote letters to eight U.S. Presidents, starting in 1903 with Theodore Roosevelt. She also personally met 13 Presidents from Grover Cleveland to Lyndon B. Johnson. I must admit to feeling a twinge of envy when I learned that during a visit to the White House, she investigated her historic surroundings with touch. She even identified a bust of George Washington with her fingers.

The Americans with Disabilities research collection currently includes more than 50 different records. They range from Keller’s letters to President Hoover to photos of a White House dinner hosted by President Clinton, honoring the Special Olympics. It’s a resource that will continue to grow, and one that sheds light on an important part of disability, and American, history.

# Learn more by visiting the Americans with Disabilities research page from the Presidential Libraries at: https://www.archives.gov/research/americans-with-disabilities.

# Susan K. Donius is the Director of the Office of Presidential Libraries at the National Archives and Records Administration.
# Sierra Gregg is a senior at Truman State University in Missouri where she is studying computer science. This year, she was awarded a scholarship from the National Federation of the Blind.

For all posts on American with Disabilities History CLICK HERE 

# post was originally posted July, 2011.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Hardrock, Coco and Joe -- The Three Little Dwarfs : Chicago Christmas Memories of Years Long Gone

For many of us in the Chicago area, the three cartoons posted below were a staple of our childhood. WGN9 in Chicago shows such as Ray Rayner and Friends, Garfield Goose and Friends, and of course The Bozo Show would play the cartoons every Christmas season. Though the purpose of Ability Chicago Info is disability related information, every now and then we all need to take a moment to relax and remember when,,, Jim

Historic Chicago Kids TV Christmas video: Hardrock, Coco and Joe -- The Three Little Dwarfs

u shall hear
A story fantastic, a story so queer
It's all about Santa and his helpers three
There's Hardrock, and Coco, and Joe

Now Hardrock's the driver up there by his sleigh
Coco reads maps and he shows him the way
Though old Santa really has no need for Joe
But takes him cause he loves him so

Ole olady olady I ay
Donner and Blitzen away away
Ole olady olady I oh
I'm Hardrock, I'm Coco, I'm Joe

And Santa is busy with his heavy pack
He trusts his drivers and never looks back
Ole olady olady I oh
I'm Hardrock, I'm Coco, I'm Joe

Now go to bed early on this Christmas Eve
I've no way of knowing just what you'll recieve
But you'll hear their laughter that much I do know
‘Twill be Hardrock, and Coco, and Joe

The 3 little men only 2 feet high
Singing to Santa way up in the sky
Laughing and shouting as the sleigh bells ring
It's Hardrock, and Coco, and Joe

Ole olady olady I ay
Donner and Blitzen away away
Ole olady olady I oh
He's Hardrock, he's Coco, he's Joe

And Santa is busy with his heavy pack
He trusts his drivers and never looks back
Ole olady olady I oh
He's Hardrock, he's Coco, he's Joe

Ol' Santa will come in and set down his pack
And Hardrock will hold the reindeer till Santa comes back
If you hear a giggle as he turns to go
It's Coco, a snowball,...and Joe!

Ole olady olady I ay
Donner and Blitzen away away
Ole olady olady I oh
I'm Hardrock, I'm Coco, I'm Joe

And Santa is busy with his heavy pack
He trusts his drivers and never looks back
Ole olady olady I oh
I'm Hardrock, I'm Coco, I'm Joe
Ole olady olady I oh.

Additional Information

"The Three Little Dwarfs" That's what the original title of this little Christmas short was called. But we remembered them from the song. Hardrock, Coco & Joe.

Every Christmas morning this favorite was played on the Chicago children shows Bozo and Garfield Goose. It is still shown today, along with the other two favorites, 'Suzie Snowflake, and Frosty the Snowman.

This was the trilogy of childhood memories.

Very little, if anything is really known as to where these films came from. When asked around about these little gems people would acknowledge they're existence but that was it.

The video copies of these shorts have a copyright and other info at the bottom of the screen as they would begin, but the quality is so bad that you can hardly make it out.

All we know is that they are played every year at Christmas, and continue to bring back the memories of years long gone.


Historic Chicago Kids TV Christmas video: Suzy Snowflake

Historic Chicago Kids TV Christmas video: Frosty the Snowman

# this is a repost every Christmas Season, Happy Holidays!