October 18, 2007 - Nearly twenty years
ago Justin Dart - father of the disability rights movement - toured
the country with his wife Yoshiko to raise support for a groundbreaking
piece of legislation to protect the rights of people with disabilities
- the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This historic legislation
secured rights for more than 50 million Americans with some kind
of physical, cognitive, or other disability.
Today Jim Ward of the National Coalition for Disability Rights
(NCDR) honors those efforts with another cross-country tour - The
Road to Freedom (RTF) - that began in Washington, DC on November
15, 2006. As part of the tour Ward, his wife and children will be
making four stops in Tennessee to raise awareness about the ADA
Restoration Act of 2007.
The stops will take place in Memphis (Oct. 29), Jackson (Oct. 30),
Nashville (Oct. 31) and Knoxville (Nov. 1), more stops than any
other state. The mission of Road to Freedom Bus Tour is to alert
Americans to the need for Congress to keep the promise of the ADA
by restoring the protections that have been eroded over the years.
On November 1st the Tennessee Disability Coalition, along with the
City of Knoxville, the University Of Tennessee Office Of Disability
Services, the disAbility Resource Center, and the Tennessee Human
Rights Commission will be bringing the tour to Knoxville from 9am-2pm
at the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. Admission is free to the
exhibit, and there will be free refreshments and door prizes.
There will be a press conference at 2pm in front of the museum
to honor local leaders and lawmakers who have championed the ADA
in Tennessee and within their local community. Press is encouraged
to attend. For questions please contact the Tennessee Disability
Coalition at 615-383-9442.