Enabling Acts: The Hidden Story of How the Americans with Disabilities Act Gave the Largest US Minority Its Rights

Enabling Acts: The Hidden Story of How the Americans with Disabilities Act Gave the Largest US Minority Its Rights

by Lennard J. Davis

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807071564
Publisher: Beacon Press
Publication date: 07/14/2015
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

An award-winning author of eleven books, including My Sense of Silence, Lennard J. Davis is Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts in the departments of Disability Studies and English at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has written for the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Nation, and Chronicle of Higher Education, among other publications. He lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Author's Note ix

Prologue: July 28, 1989 I

1 Forty-Six Words that Changed History 7

2 DC Outsiders Turn Washington Insiders 19

3 The Texas Connection 36

4 Let Right Be Done 52

5 Banging the Drum Loudly 63

6 Flat Earth, Deaf World 76

7 A New Band of Reformers 100

8 A New Day, a New ADA 115

9 White House Battles Senate 132

10 Secret Meetings and Bagel Breakfasts 143

11 "This Means War!" 161

12 Building the Accessible Ramp to the House of Representatives 174

13 The Capitol Crawl 191

14 On the White House Lawn 217

15 Enabling the ADA 225

Acknowledgments 252

Cast of Characters 253

Bibliographical Note 257

Notes 261

Index 273

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Enabling Acts: The Hidden Story of How the Americans with Disabilities Act Gave the Largest US Minority Its Rights 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
henrycalphinjr More than 1 year ago
Lennard Davis has weaved together a plethora of interviews into an amazing and intimate story on the process, politics, and emotions of the ADA. Davis provides a human element of the ADA without excessive dramatization. I’ve conducted similar qualitative research and can personally attest to the difficulty of piecing together different interviews and perspectives into an intriguing narrative that separates the author’s viewpoint from the outcome. Davis is a disability studies scholar and professor who can personally relate to the social struggles of accessibility. Policy wonks will probably enjoy this book the most. The give and take, secrecy, and truly broad spectrum of individual inputs toward the legislation makes for a compelling tale that often reads like a novel. There were times when I had to go back a few pages to remind myself of who the players were, but the Cast of Characters in the back of the book helps to keep the reader grounded. As Davis notes, the disabled community is the largest US minority. Yet, there are differing levels of ability, perceptions of ability, and social hurdles which encompass this community. This means that consensus is often difficult, and that’s what makes the ADA’s story so important. A strength of the book is Davis’s ability to make the reader feel the community’s voices through their respective representatives, activists, and associations. Personally, I envisaged a deeper exploration of independent living – including the lives of Max and Colleen Starkloff, as well as more than a cursory inclusion of Ed Roberts. But that’s unfair to Davis, since this book is focused on the development of the ADA and the interspersed relationships formed and nurtured throughout. Overall, Davis provides a compelling read that is as informative as it is gratifying. As Davis notes, it’s impossible to include every character involved in the development and passing of the ADA, but he does a masterful job in telling the story of those individuals who were interviewed. My copy of the book was provided in exchange for an honest review.
MorrisMorgan More than 1 year ago
"Enabling Acts" is thorough history of the ADA from it's conception to its passage. Many don't realize how much was changed for those with physical and cognitive disabilities with the passage of the act, nor do they realize just how difficult it was to get passed. This book is well-researched and includes many facts. It can be a difficult read and meander some at times, so I would not recommend it for those looking for a light or easy read. This unbiased review is based on a book was won through the Goodreads First Reads program.