All people are unique, and so are their challenges. The ADA Generation discusses accommodations and what a level playing field really looks like.
Senator Harkin: In this year of the 25th Anniversary of the ADA, the millennials, the most diverse generation in American history, are projected to surpass the baby boomers as the largest segment of the nation’s population. A group of that size will have the capacity to change the way American’s live and work. So, I sat down with 11 millennials; students at Drake University, who are part of the ADA generation. Some of these students have a disability, some do not. I asked these young adults to consider the next 25 years, and what lies ahead for persons with disabilities in 2040.
ZACH: I can say, I’m preaching to the choir when I say disabilities manifest themselves so differently in every individual even when you have the same disability as them.
EMILY: Everyone comes with different privileges, with different circumstances. And so I think the idea becomes how do we level the playing field? How do we ensure that, you know, everyone gets the right amount of support? Fair isn’t everyone getting the same thing, fair is everyone getting what they need in order to be successful.
ZACH: And I personally think that the most important thing to emphasize is students with disabilities knowing themselves.
NADIA: We have in our minds these ideas and these concepts of what certain people with certain disabilities look like. And we haven’t been opened up to, you know, everybody brings their different experiences to the table, henceforth, we all look differently and carry it in different ways as well.
GEOFFREY: It’s just, kind of neat to see different faces on Drake’s campus that have other disabilities.
EMILY: It’s heart breaking to think that, you know, people grow up thinking that there’s a part of me that I need to try and get over, that I need to try and leave behind at some point in my life.
ANNIKA: The whole narrative of overcoming a disability so people can be quote unquote “normal”, but as a person with that disability I feel as if my disabilities have shaped the career path that I want to take.
LARRY: We see an extreme of something and then we see the other extreme, and we don’t see whatever that’s in-between.
HECTOR: And there needs to be a focus that mental disabilities affect everyone regardless of your race, ethnicity or gender.
ZACH: Why can’t we start portraying people with disabilities as people before the disability?
Senator Harkin: Keep the conversation going at #ADA2040. Let’s make sure that people with disabilities in 2040 have equal access and opportunities in their workplaces, and in their communities.
There are millions of members of the ADA Generation. Help us tap into their wealth of experiences and ideas by launching a worldwide conversation at #ADA2040. Together we can do more to ensure people with disabilities in 2040 have equal access and opportunities in their workplaces and in their communities. But we need your voice.
Join the conversation today. #ADA2040