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there's a backstory creating and forty pages this is the saint thousand university in nineteen eighty eight the nation's only university the deaf and hard period had operated for more than a century that a president who is one of them the chance of not trusting a year and people thought that people a chance to write that people feel ourselves americans with disabilities have long thought others have tried to speak for that a hundred years ago this ability reformers cut to suppress signed today on backstory physical disability and their restrictive nineties future immigration laws and the long fight for freedom there are many examples of slaves who that could utilize disability average anyway and fainter exaggerated to achieve their own hands on backstory the history of americans with disabilities
major funding for backstory is provided by an anonymous donor the national endowment for the humanities the joseph and robert cornell memorial foundation and the arthur vining davis foundations from the virginia foundation for the humanities this is a backstory to the american history guys welcome to the show and brian balogh and i'm here with editors who brian ed peter honest with us and bryan would start today's show with the story of two sisters millie and christine mckoy they were born into slavery on north carolina plantation eighteen fifty two water and you know right away there are recognized that they were in an interesting list of spectacle this is jennifer berkeley historian at washington state university and the twins of edify very early age began to be excluded in different ways throughout the southern states really interesting were born can join
and like hundreds of other nineteenth century americans with disabilities the twins made their living by accepting their bodies inside shows pour more crude freak show us is within folks with unusual parties perhaps impeach these folks <unk> land use are or folks who were considered to be giants or folks who are considered to be in the jets upset as a whole diverse array of people berkeley says that in the case of the mccoys sisters well the twins extraordinary bodies get them on the stage it was their performances the two headed nightingale but a standout audiences performing dance routines that are choreographed loss they saying they were both multilingual is part of their performance us the one carry on a conversation say friends and the other one carry out of congress he said in german and the mccoys act paid off by the time he retired from the stage in their thirties the twins had made enough money to live comfortably of biopharm for their parents they even found a school for black children on their home state but the mccoys use of their
disability as a source of financial independence is hardly unique i think the agency that may be disabled people go and those days was the fact that there were fiscally independence and that they had agreed to the cause this is matt frazier you might recognise him from the tv show american horror story freak show he's an actor and sideshow performer who integrates a congenital different mission in his arms into a show fraser's done a lot of research into his profession and says that like the mccoys sisters many nineteenth century sideshow performers leverage their disability for a better life i think that was more the agency because the alternative of being you know i'm going to use phrases of the head of the school cripple whatever you get lama dies identity weiss you could often be improved by going on the road at being a fabulous freak and an exotic people design team wanted to know more about the ballpark william fraser stress that this agency is easy to romanticize in the nineteenth century sideshow performers with disabilities still
regularly faced exploitation of the hands of show man like pt barnum and millie and christine mckoy skates and they were forced to undergo invasive medical examinations to prove they were real freaks and even the very presence of gawking onlookers complicated any financial success bartley says meeting thirties and forties sideshow audiences want exactly looking to celebrate diversity gentleman and counties are these kind of productions first emerged a time of tremendous change and upheaval industrialization things like abolition i think in many ways where anxieties that's spectacles like freak shows helped to give folks a place where they could sniff test their own normalcy in other words the audience is used performers disabilities to feel normal that frazer says these dual strains of agency and exploitation are ever present and sideshow history where is the line the train being a self respecting fiscally independent treated as an
equal perform other senate race that beautiful difference to me hideous notion of people coming to gawk or someone's deformity because they can't do anything else could society one that the work which is the other side of the coin if this tension isn't just about sideshows that runs throughout the history but visibility america able bodied americans have often project of the fears anxieties stereotypes or fellow citizens with disabilities leave return father really social today on the show a history of physical disability america will explore how enslaved people used fear and disbelief to their advantage and find out why alexander graham bell fought against the use of sign language with in the fed will also hear voices of protest twentieth century fight for disability civil rights
but first let's take a look at how to use a disability have shaped who has been granted access to the us in the first place says the founding politicians had used the term able bodied to define soderbergh dissipation of the eighteen haiti's lawmakers begin to focus on those coming into the country and at eighty two federal immigration law barred anyone who was a convict lunatic idiot or any person unable to take care of him or herself without becoming a public charge from entering the country that list included children and adults with any number of physical disabilities or perceived effects the list would include their cars vans are flat feet or hearing impairment vision impairments that short stature poor physique this universe did i what historian douglas benton he says it's hard to tell exactly how many immigrants with disabilities were kept out of the us for one thing discrimination
didn't begin else island because the shipping companies do their own inspections because if they bought an immigrant over who was rejected they would have to pay a fine for that person to have to bring them back at no charge the ticket sellers the ticket agents who were spread all over europe also do their own inspections these were non medical people that they would refuse to sell tickets to people who they thought would be excluded because they would be penalized by the shipping companies but what this suggest to me is there people with brilliant debilitating disability might not have made it this far far as her again and said that because they would have gotten through the initial screens and also they had mobility impairment they win they'll get on the ship in the first place right so an example of what this process actually look like in practice you know these officials deciding serve on the spur of the moment that somebody was defective right there was an armenian turk in nineteen oh five by the name of dawn about most secular
who tom was diagnosed as suffering from feminism why was the term that was used on his medical certificate and i refer to the lack of male sexual organs warp underdeveloped origins as a result of what we now known to be a hormonal deficiency me how would they have and they know they must and drama of a facial trade yes because i'm from an over read in your article that basically people are walking by and when they see somebody who seems detected a rotten in el on the back is that right right there were there was the whole code for different kinds of defects xx for mental defect telfer lamb so the first inspection was really just a snapshot diagnosis as immigrants streamed past the inspectors they would pull some people out chalk on their backhand and i give them a closer spectrum so with new sec in his hearing was extraordinarily grief it was as if the board that was examined him was very uncomfortable and this case one of those that i
moved to exclude as likely become public charge a second panel members said i second the motion third set he is excluded that was the entire hearing but here he appealed to washington which all immigrants have the right to do and he wrote in his appeal that he had always supported selfie was a photographer a weaver entire of rogues and i'm a cook at work that all of these guys and he wrote in his letter i am not jail and have no contagious diseases is not my fault you just come from god and my mother what harm can i do it by being deprived of many organs when he left and he was fleeing the violent oppression of armenians in turkey and had been made to renounce of citizenship when he left so you will he explain this in his letter and he said better if you should kill me now that summit back in the armenian genocide took place just a few years after he was sent back so she's focused
around not be able to find work and did what kind of evidence would they have of that i mean that was actually true even as the thing there is a widespread assumption that a disability means being incapable of working so in the case of most secular really seems to be no reason to assume he would go to find work but there was the immigration service memo that explained why they should not be admitted which was that darryl abnormality becomes known to their fellow workers who mock them and tom thumb now which piece the work at hand and so employers notice and are unlikely to hire them so whether there's a way will basically was saying that we have to discriminate against them now because they're likely to encounter discrimination lehrer so you say that these restrictions grew over time does
that mean that big grew increasingly accepted mean was there a sort of turn against people with disabilities and that began a twin century or was a system for a more bureaucratic a momentum built like there are a couple things going on one the eugenics movement definitely grew and it was not just in the negative sense of preventing defectors from giving birth but encouraging people consider to be spirit have more children so sterilization was one way of preventing the proliferation of defective people the other main track their cue genesis took was to prevent effect of people from coming into the country they would argue that color are sterilizing an institutionalizing of people is not going to do any good if or just been swamped with the fact of people from the outside
so did this just seems to be running contrary to what we think is the currents of a sense of building and progress within abolitionism and feminism end and then general sensitivity to the suffering of animals everything seems to be forcing a nineteen century but why would people with disabilities seem to be kind of exceptions to the general trend well i think there are a lot of different factors one of them is the standardization of society in the industrial age that term normal comes into common use near the end of the nineteenth century and it becomes a very powerful concept people use to talk about human nature and then it shifted around the turn of the twentieth century to a concern with what is normal counting people measuring people seeing what the bell curve shows us about where normal characteristics and it's tied in with a lot of changes the growth of cities industrialization were not only do you need standardized parts and replaceable
parts but standardized a replaceable human beings workers people with their disabilities don't fit as a cartoon that larger machine so how long were these laws on the books mean the sentence or a peak in the early twentieth century that then what happened the immigration laws do not take out the language having to do with the specific disability or defects that are excludable until the nineteen ninety packed and still today well we exclude people who are likely to become a public charge and thats still a means of keeping people out with disabilities but still goes on douglas dayton is a historian and author of the forthcoming book detectives in the land disability an immigration agent eugenics earlier we heard from historian jennifer bartz at washington state university and a former mayor
i mean we just heard about the laws in the nineteenth century the targeted disability among immigrants but attitudes at that time affected plenty of americans as well our story starts with alexander graham bell who we all know is a hero for his invention of the telephone in eighteen seventy six but bill was also one of the most influential figures in the field of deaf education he had a deep personal connection to the issue both his mother and his wife were deaf but the signing deaf community has to bow as a villain this is blind greenwald a historian at gallaudet university i spoke to him through a sign language interpreter greenwald says that in the late nineteenth century bill used his fame to try to eradicate sign language which he viewed as primitive bell was one of the more prominent activists who
promoted a different form of communication for the deaf known as moralism orla some is a pedagogical approach to teaching their children which relies on teaching them a speech training lip reading and eliminating the use of sign language the idea being that their children would be recast as hearing speaking people and why did bail think they or listened was more advanced or why did you think that american sign language was more primitive this is an era when a sign that mccain viewed as activist backward thinking that it was a bumbling news of gesture to convey information in a way that wasn't a good fit for human nature as was seen in terms of evolutionary thinking of the day people regarded sign and those who use sign as being
someone closer to the use of gesture monks and monkeys and the idea being that if you couldn't speak you could not paint a more non human soul rebel working to eliminate sign language i think it was really a kind of reform as you saw in a progressive reform greenwald told me that in the late nineteenth century there were several dozen boarding schools for the deaf where students were taught sign language the schools and signing had created the beginnings of deaf culture monthly visit bell saw orel as i'm as a social and educational pressure they can be applied to those people so that they would leave their cultural community because if he thought that that people should not be marrying other deaf people y el was the genesis bell was very very much so worried that if their people continue to marry among other deaf people than there would be at some
point a new variety of the human race that would be tough but we know today that you know the theory doesn't hold true but the overarching goal for eid bell was to reduce the number of deaf people in existence now the way to reduce those numbers of deaf people he fought and his argument was new orleans i'm as a tool for assimilation was there anybody who pushed back against a bill in order to defend that culture oh yes oh yes very much so even though if in the new schools for the deaf where's sign language was forbidden or nine years those deaf students would spontaneously sign on the sly and as her teacher had the right term to run on their border a moment the students were communicating with each other using science and
doing so in the drama thrillers as well other acts of resistance and really a very important one to remember is that when those deaf children graduated from those schools they continued to gather end of communities within churches with golf clubs with and the different organizations and the number of deaths related organization to local state and national levels are a sound bite oral as we're like a tidal wave and then here they just swept across the united states and part of the problem was that the oral us had never asked deaf adults above their only experience is a fifth and so on deaf children of that day and still today continued to get the short end of the educational experience
brian greenwald is a historian at gallaudet university them despite efforts to suppress signing the language thrived throughout the twentieth century and largely those methods of assistance greenwald mentions fb you know guys i noticed lizzie interviews with douglas painted bright green wall how the nineteenth century reformers categorize are labeled an institutionalized people with disabilities and obviously these reformers had good intentions but it seems to me that something was lost from earlier times subpoena what was gained and lost from the eighteenth century to the nineteenth century world in which people were institutionalized well away your questions as a whole and their art institutions and everything is done in terms of social welfare as to be done literally at home yeah or in your hometown or villages he's good and it is good in the
sense that you have a place whatever you're born with however you're born whatever marks you as different has accepted one of the reasons it can be accepted is that eighteenth century society even in british america is hierarchical there is a culture of caring or because without that carrot people can survive a military responsibility right yes exactly you know that that phrase road takes a village to do this that know the thing in and that begins with taking care of small children and to anybody who needs help did it matter that so many people in let's say late eighteenth century worked in the hole yeah i think it's a great point oh we think of work as an activity that were slotted into once we make software publisher say you can't go out in the field somewhere where there's something for his
job and there's plenty to do whether it's a child care whether it's food preparation whether simply watching the world go by him and reporting on that to your neighbors and your part of the organism of a community so that wasn't that better yeah that's better at but what's not better is the sense that your destiny is fixed with those marks at birth whatever it is that distinguishes europe and that the whole range of things that we now call disabilities mental physical whether they happened as a result of an accident and youre does able to all of those things lead to a fixed and permanent outcome that idea that you cannot pursue happiness we understand happiness to be the aspiration to be a full and complete human being because you happen to be in this category that it's different being disabled and to be disabled is not to participate in a way they're categories above this well today we called disability within the same back then are
these inventions of the nineteen century or the twentieth century well i think they are largely inventions of the nineteenth and twentieth century and part of that is based on the idea that you can do something for somebody with what we call a disability you can enable or person or is i think in the eighteenth century you wore what you seem to be i mean if you can do something you can do it there's no there's no probing question because there's no hope that the diagnosis gonna lead to any kind of al balad that's what strikes me as different from my twentieth century purchase the presumption shifts to being a whole enabled fully entitled own citizens with a certain there as you might even think about those curb cuts that we have today if he hadn't really put cuts in the sidewalk they can function like anybody else and that seems very different than your period and i think the militias and able is i'm suggesting prejudice against those people with disabilities that is that they can't
overcome the effects of those disabilities and enable us to some big emitters can sign those people to the fate of not being able to disobey well that would be to return to the eighteenth century essentially a wash it's been extended it was much banking officials are elegant universe who had just announced that when the new president students at gallaudet the nation's only college for the death of heart of hearing how they began a campaign called deaf president now a have never been anything like really a town
and burned every didn't even know sign language truth be told i was shot at another job this is it in jordan in nineteen eighty eight he was a dean at gallaudet and one of the candidates for the presidency jordan lost his hearing in a motorcycle accident when he was twenty one we spoke to him to a sign language interpreter he says that students have been telling the board that was time for gallaudet founded one hundred and twenty four years before to have a deaf leader bought the board didn't that i must start a family those that there's a famous quote where the chairman of the board say no it's not time for the president there are busted for not ready to be president got well do you want to tell us what was going on i can tell you want wind from my perspective i was at home and it was sunday march six and i was home in the evening
and then somebody called my home my wife tessa the phone and whoever called i can remember was also the time when those usa what's going on so she turned on the nose and that was live coverage of what was gone i found that the students were really our core that without an iphone but i have appointed doctors answer so i ran into campus on monday i drove an akron drive on the temple's saw a park nearby akron welcomed the campus all of the student's close down the cabinets and they would not be on and they have closed the gates and actually hardwired a couple of the school buses a fifth of the land drove a school buses on friday dates and the flight of the pirates falling another beer easy to get on the campus
is so how did you react when you saw these protests were you with this dude in state you have good teacher administrator sensibilities kick in and say oh my goodness this is bad for publicity aspect of it both wine and truly are other well reaction i guess i thought i understood instead was saw understandable and correct and at the same time i was a dean sorry i had the tension between those two different positions one then if you've done your homework but you probably know is on when study at the national press club i stood up and front of the group of fatah real poor hers hand tom rose and down i was asked do you loved your support what the board of trustees is saying here
hand to my regret i said yes i do it as a board decision while understand that the door was a crew there are from a tv program called dust motes iraq from balad that's tv department hams the camera man i'm the producer who were there were both us ally and i looked back to producer who was at odds are young woman who was a good friend of mine and someone who i liked online you like me she was letting that may i she was shaken her faith and she was crying genzyme you think you'll smell nor oh no i serve it does for the rest of my life our nominee gave for as long as i keep the opera was happy saw i really have to
i have to change my position somehow that's right my personal reaction towards the vision was and is entered in actual episodes of the notion that a problem for the other nice job
they know why i will ever become president now i mean not now not later their other half to a point somebody because his answer to whether the storm on a lot but delma where i stop and dead us their lover or point me right that was their side on friday says a resigned air in the short overdose got i got a telephone call on somebody's telling me about the board hasn't appointed me present and so we went to the mayflower hotel where the board had been stabbed in an old the mayflower when they announced a press conference we're down now and so all the students can
and i remember i have grave to those students got about or showing off it that way even now a one tenth season it it was such force becomes a really a lot what impact do you think this event had on the deaf community all while it's it's almost impossible to measure i think about halfway well no none had written which actually was braley tour the end of the week i realized that i was not rare protest anymore that was really a revolution
that the deaf community would never be the sign that tv oh awe of an understanding of an perception of deaf people would never be the same there began as a stern protest but i really became a revolution about the rights and abilities of people who were jazz hands and a cry for the recognition of people can hear all those beliefs and rights than there was a yellow bus phrase that i had when i was president and that was deftly what i do everything except here at i believe that with all my heart king i can tell you a pleasure it's been to talk to you today thank you so much for joining us on backstory such your shop water from a new room like he enjoys president emeritus at gallaudet university in room lindsay
says the city says its in the nineteenth century epilepsy was considered a serious disability and it was thought to be especially prevalent among enslaved people but we did go a bit deeper the historical record shows a more complicated story i'd have read accounts of slaves who admitted to having the famed seizures in a variety of ways choking frothing at the mouth can call saying this is historian dia buster she says the white slave owners were terrified of epilepsy which helps explain why slaves found ways to use those fears to their own advantage slavery of course was itself of violent disabling system with back breaking work and beatings of medical neglect but the hidden history bostrom covers shows that even able bodied slaves exploited white anxieties about disability buster tells the story of a child who's
seizures seder from a terrible fate in that eighteen forty three a fifteen year old female slave in richmond virginia named virginia was found guilty for the crime of arson which were slaves was a capital offense and she was sentenced to hang but her master a man named archibald govan appealed to the governor for clemency and he was able to convince the governor to have her sentence commuted so instead of being executed virginia was supposed to be sold and on the day that go over hand picked her up at the city jail to transport her to a slave trader bacon takes jail she experienced what govan described as an epileptic fit there's nothing to indicate she had a history of it but she had such fits our episodes regularly for almost two months before both the slave trader and a physician he had hired throw up their hands and said we can sell her she has no value to have to take her home so slave a young girl who had been found guilty in a richmond court of a capital crime was sentenced to die was
saved her life was saved she wasn't sold she was returned to her family that how would they know that she had epilepsy well that's a very good question i was not a very well understood disease category at the time and they never exactly explained in any of the correspondence i read what the fed's actually looks like they just use the word epileptic yeah what we can know what really happened but we can't help but be struck by this seemed very advantageous to her for of those fixed it struck her when they did so were there other times that we know of that people were able to use a disability or feigned this ability to their advantage oh absolutely and a variety of instances i mean when you think about the day to day negotiations of slavery we're slaves who could use agency not so much for our great rebellion but to negotiate the terms of their labor and how they interacted with their masters there are examples of slaves who sabotage your own body at market to prevent a sale to an undesirable master my favorite exam although as a very unique one of a slave
who utilized a masquerade of disability to her advantage was ellen craft you in eating forty eight escaped with her husband william from macon georgia to philadelphia met a long way to escape as enslaved people it isn't and what's really remarkable about the crash story is that they traveled on public transportation the entire way well yeah so i'm guessing disability playing a role in those huge one absolutely so as the crab to devise a plan where ellen who is fairly light skinned presumably she was the daughter of her master her white master she disguised herself as a white slaveholding man who gave herself the persona mr johnson and her husband william was slightly older than she disguised himself as mr johnson servant and the cover story was that they were going to philadelphia to seek medical treatment and in order to johnson for mr johnson arrest in order to cover up ellen's femininity her voice the fact that she could not read or write because as a slave she had never
been trained how to read right they utilize a variety of disabling characteristics so they put shaded green glasses of her eyes to feign a problem with her eyesight and they wrapped her head in poultices when an acquaintance who knew her as a slave tried to strike up a conversation with her she fainted deafness so that she would not respond and most importantly they down her right arm in a slang so that she would have an excuse not to register her name for hotels and and such along the way because she didn't know how it's as interesting and they used this ability to make themselves invisible and in some ways inaudible on their escape from the south and they could get you know exploit the reactions to disabling injuries and whether it was revulsion whether it was repression or disgust pity sympathy it's fascinating how it's like people such as virginia or the crafts are able to use this ability as a way to actually buy a little bit of space in society otherwise let them so
little and certainly that tells us an awful lot about expectations of disability and ideas about disability antebellum society more generally the more visible or apparent a disability is the greater the impulse to render that individual invisible so i think that actually helps land complexity to this issue to understand exactly how disability can work on so many levels in american society and in american history and for the impostor is a historian at columbus state community college and author of african american slavery disability bodies property our own sound
earlier in the show we spoke with actor max fraser he's best known for his part in american horror story when he played call the illustrated seal boy the role was a fitting one fifteen years ago fraser constructed an entire act based on a historic sideshow performer names stanislaw us barrett whose stage name was ceo the seal boy we asked fraser howie started in the profession and to tell us about its history it'll start when i was an actor and i went for edition of the bill which is our longstanding police drama and i had a great audition with a guy but then i didn't get a call and i just knew it was my disability or we call them and i said oh they would call them on the whole they will welcome them he needs to drive so it is a problem a cantonese to drive a healthful driver's license at the front of my resumes they just picked the wrong excuse and i thought ok i get it people don't want me right where can i go way not only one that they wanted but no one can take a job from me and at the time it was hinged to be looking at creatures as the cultural heritage
dating myself i come out of the jacket with paternal pride and let them draw from the slings and i throw a good jacket and i'm like yes it's me and then i explain my physical condition this condition called folk i immediately sealed like limbs sort of being the single boy and being scared when canadian sculptor the show cause the things the clubbing seals and you know real bad taste human like that i end up writing mike have a rock drumming and say you know to roll into particularly do that explanation and in the village fb when i explained my medical conditions you know i can see that you're just simply to understand i think it lets
but i'm really convinced as a sort of appreciation of understanding you know you know outlaw physical person so your phones work and use funny article how they work it's the fear of the unknown i think that because of the difficulty on the language a disability and of course political correctness chemical self respect to disabled people men that is just not cool to go around and so we're going to work you know it's just not cool to do that but people still i know i'm in the sunshine he says part of america's entertainment heritage so i very much feel that in doing this seat of the symbol is that you get at a free slice of history to see willie criticism former he had a he was very proud of the fact that for our thirty five year career he looked after or five members of his family he kept them close to house and said and it was for me was tremendously proud of and
back in those days you know he would've been able to do much so it was a way of validating him because and not to get too political book in our capitalist society you are what you do i have to say i think this is actually a growth maven at the moment not not not subsiding one which it was when i came into the business about fifteen years ago it was wonderful as that disability does considered normal now within it simultaneously and normalizing all of the congenital difference would that with a glamorizing an egg and an exhaustive sizing all the difference for performance purposes it's both that faces an actor inform the issues before the accident at the pittsburgh has been even in july of
ninety nine president george h w bush signed the americans with disabilities act this landmark law prohibits any employer from discriminating on the basis of disability at the signing ceremony president bush hailed the legislation creates ago we celebrated our nation's independence day and today we're here to rejoice in and celebrate another independence day one that is long overdue and was long overdue because the eighty eight was a result the decades long civil rights battle in the day with a look back at a key moment in that struggle in nineteen seventy three congress passed the rehabilitation act it mostly applied to veterans but it included because section five o for the prohibited any federally funded institution from discriminating against anyone based on disability but there was a hitch in order for section five o for to be enforced regulations how to be drafted and they needed a signature from the head of health
education and welfare this is emily smith bakes associate director of the paul kaye long more institute on disability she says president nixon's health education welfare secretary never signed the final four regulations when jimmy carter took office his secretary a man named joseph cassano didn't sign either without those regulations people with disabilities continue to face rampant discrimination in unemployment by nineteen seventy seven they were gonna take it any longer protests in ten cities across the us were held at health education welfare office is to demand the signing a viable for regulations on april fifth nineteen seventy seven in san francisco disability rights activists occupied a federal building for nearly a month although protesters didn't know it when they showed up in the morning leaders of the movement plan to stay until they got that signature emily smith bakes collected oral histories from those involved in that protest
area somebody sitting here is a demonstration that extend the outside from blah blah time providing that people come swimming interpreter can you interpret so we were just going around and a big circle with signs and chanting different slogans and singing songs and it was i am the third hour into it i was thinking i needed and that was when the organizers said tell her deaf people go inside see what they're going into building would it wouldn't take over the building to be here you may relate to the building nobody charged into the building and welcomed by we just didn't believe it i was surrounded by two hundred people are more i have my cane in hand analysts say hold your
fire goal goal and then it started it was a chance to see it that people signing that we were all we were all low heat add we have no idea how long and if we started in there that's what was going to happen if we got sick and there we get sick and then whatever was going to happen we were just going to be in there until this thing resolved and the protestors stayed in the building for twenty six days i mean i remember the first night trying to decide what to do when they came to arrest us because we were sure that they were going to come to a restless and we were surprised that they hadn't taken this out already i
don't think he seems to and they refer it is that it's a religious conflict who lost influence or you know the image of disabled people up until that time had been that we were all a little pathetic children's with individual tragedies in well none of that was true sleeping wherever there was christmas so we had the large phone from june we had the hallway and then somewhere around the elevator and i slept under one of a large breasts i think probably everybody was in pain a lot of us had physical disabilities you know i am sleeping on the floor is just you know first saw you got to get down there and then you got to get up so a lot of blind people came and helped us get on the floor and get up in the morning there were certainly romances the blimp in the
building and i actually had created a tent and a big shield bedspread that i had so that was one of a few fairly private spaces and people would come to visit the trees are sure to be a friend please treat these the iliad three years that the record new start for coming into a cornerstone own living rooms unlike panther party was there every day bringing us really good food and the people with the guns that the doors saying you can't come in and they said either you let us in or we're going to come back with our guys with our guns and they let him in the media who is
now insured at one point the building trying to figure out how to get these people out of buildings similar to turn off the phone to see if they cant our reach the press their power will be weakened there were huge windows in the federal building and there were people signing that press releases to people on the outside and then interpreters would interpret what was being said on each end is so much so that within a day you know the buildings that are given the phones back it's not making a difference anyways still the same wrestlers on tuesday also after the protestors had been in the building for a couple weeks we started to get can see that washington dc was not adequately aware of what
was happening we had election to choose who went to washington dc in our money we have and the kinds of work that we need so you know he had personal assistants and sounds of terrorism don't want a diversified group of people that was racially diverse with disability diverse in dc conditions were very similar to what they've been in back and seven sisko i had they stayed in the church basement they were again sleeping on the floor or what infuriated the protesters says mcauliffe on our head of health education welfare and jimmy carter would not meet with them i think the first night we went and had a vigil outside of telephone owes house any left by the back door and we went to coerce charge him left by the back door so does this was part of our tactic was to say this is not an open door station
also the protests continued in this way with a group in seances goes still on the federal building and a group in dc and on the twenty fourth day of the occupation word reach them that the final four regulations had finally finally been signed in november when we heard it was just isn't going to enjoy this explosion we just i mean i think the overwhelming feeling that everybody had was just my pride and power and the whole group starts steve we shall overcome in a visitor summit of people involved and a lot of the reason for this particular song in lahore and it was just beautiful
when congress passed the americans with disabilities act in nineteen ninety four the imprint of a firewall for protests the ad itself echoed an expanded the firewall for regulations extending a guarantee of civil rights to the private sector it was the history of civil protest but most are displayed when the first president bush spoke at the laws i mean certainly it's been the work of a true coalition of people have shared both a dream and a passion that determination to make that dream come true and listener favorites is the associate director of the park a long war institute on disability its efforts to state university she collected these oral histories art project celebrating twenty fifth anniversary atf it's called patient no more people with disabilities during civil rights you can find a link to the exhibit on our web site we heard from protesters he co mary ryan on a regina choked when
judy human dennis philips and swami suited on we had help from the disability rights education and defense fund and around two of forced to join us online continued discussion of this week's show and helped shape for upcoming shows the history of american you focus of extreme rigor the board or a traditionally male backstory of virginia that you were also facebook tumblr and twitter text your ear whatever you do
backstory producer andrew parsons rigid mccarthy the veterans village and they can we get mr milner as engineer julia mccarthy visited schuller enlisted just one research special thanks to sweeten triggers adam varley and i mean shaun and the garbage service thanks also to catch in public and everyone and talk a lot more institute on disability services to state university of utah thanks to bring the season that's liz produced jr foundation for meth they just support provided by an anonymous donor the national joseph cornell weill foundation and the author of finding the foundation additional funding is provided by the megaphone of the fresh ideas and the environment and by his teacher mr everett brian balogh is a professor of history at the university of virginia and peter arnett is professor of history emeritus and senior research fellow at
Series
BackStory
Episode
Body Politics: Disability in America
Producing Organization
BackStory
Contributing Organization
BackStory (Charlottesville, Virginia)
AAPB ID
cpb-aacip/532-x34mk66q7m
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Description
Episode Description
The impact of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act is visible in parking lots, bathrooms, and public buildings across the country. But for centuries before the ramps and signs were erected, disabled people had to find their own ways to navigate American society.This week on BackStory, we're exploring the history of disability in America, from the "ugly laws" that barred the disabled from public spaces to the grassroots activism that set the stage for the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Guys will consider how the inventor of the telephone tried to stamp out American sign language, and how enslaved people found ways to exploit white fears of physical disability. How have people with disabilities shaped 21st century America? And how have American attitudes towards disability changed?
Broadcast Date
2015-00-00
Asset type
Episode
Rights
Copyright Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and Public Policy. With the exception of third party-owned material that may be contained within this program, this content islicensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 InternationalLicense (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Media type
Sound
Duration
00:57:10
Embed Code
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Credits
Producing Organization: BackStory
AAPB Contributor Holdings
BackStory
Identifier: Body-Politics_Disability_in_America (BackStory)
Format: Hard Drive

Identifier: cpb-aacip-532-x34mk66q7m.mp3 (mediainfo)
Format: audio/mpeg
Generation: Proxy
Duration: 00:57:10
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Citations
Chicago: “BackStory; Body Politics: Disability in America,” 2015-00-00, BackStory, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 30, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-532-x34mk66q7m.
MLA: “BackStory; Body Politics: Disability in America.” 2015-00-00. BackStory, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 30, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-532-x34mk66q7m>.
APA: BackStory; Body Politics: Disability in America. Boston, MA: BackStory, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-532-x34mk66q7m