tv Book Discussion on Enabling Acts CSPAN August 23, 2015 1:30pm-2:34pm EDT
benjamin franklin quintessential american homespun, sure, smart, entrepreneurial, represents so much of the american dirt. this is a wonderful biography. dying every day. i happen to love ancient roman history. this book is all about the roman poet senate who was the artist in residence at the court of aero and sort of the odd juxtaposition between this awful man and his tyrant and how he tried to survive the night time. while being on the other hand the senior visor and it was a very tricky business. it's a great piece of roman history about a very controversial and 90s the relationship and a very easy and
great read if you like ancient roman history as i do. that's my summer reading and i hope to be be next year with an equal number of recommendations. >> and now, lennard davis provides a history and examines the impact of the americans with disabilities act signed into law on july 26 night to 90. >> our guest author is lennard davis his first major impact of the ada "enabling acts: the hidden story of how the americans with disabilities act gave the largest u.s. minority its rights". lennard davis and south are missed in which arts and sciences and is currently
teaching in english department at the university of illinois in chicago. he's also a professor of medical education and professor of disability and human development. in addition he is the director project bio cultures which focuses on the links between medical and social sciences, cultural studies, disability studies and other areas. professor davis is the author of several books including enforcing normalcy, disability deafness in the body for which you want study of human rights annual award for the best scholarship on the subject of intolerance in north america. his memoir, my sense of silence was chosen as the editor's choice book for the "chicago tribune" and the national book award for 2000 nominated for the book critics circle award. in 2002-2003 was awarded a guggenheim fellowship for his book obsession a history. davis has been a guest on npr
and articles have appeared in "the new york times," the nation, "chicago tribune" and the chronicle of higher education. please join in welcoming lennard davis to the national archives. [applause] >> thank you for coming. there was interest in. when doug introduced me he said that it was the hidden history and is thinking today what i wanted to focus on is the difference between a story in the history. that was a fortunate alteration. let's see. i just did something totally wrong. so that's the book. in the u.s. in many places around the world, the heroes and narratives of the civil rights act of 1964 are well known.
images and events are emblazoned in the imaginary world history minds. we know little about the civil rights act of 1990 also known as the ada. i wrote this book to talk about that history. you know, the images we have from the 1964 civil rights act are emblazoned in our culture and everybody knows to rosa parks says. everybody to register recent film nominated for the academy award. one thing we might forget is there was also a terrible somma, and of the church bombings and disability was the result of a lot of the actions and neck dignities, mostly negative for the civil rights movement of
1964. we have sarah jean collins, one of the survivors of the church bombings 12 years old and blinded by the dynamite that killed her sister in birmingham. here she is now, a blind disabled woman. we tend to record the history of the disabled in the past of a kind of make special heroes out of people like beethoven or something. my interest in writing about the americans with disability act is to also remind us of the historical event that happened in the lead up to the ada. i will talk about the march later on. of course that led to let his known as the capital crawl. some of you may be familiar with this image of people with disabilities crawling up the steps of the capitol in protest of the progress or lack of progress on the ada. my interest in writing the americans with disabilities act
and both of my parents had zero hearings and resentment which users as well as lip readers training speaking aloud. my upbringing showed me firsthand how bad an impact discrimination against people with disabilities could have. as a child i witnessed countless instances of hearing people treating my intelligence talented. my father was a world-class race walker. treating them as if they were lesser beings. i'm cringing when someone called my father and mother and to watching them excluded from conversations that aim at holiday gatherings, i thought isolation from and denigration by hearing people. it terrifies the furniture was elation was difficult.
no telecommunication devices allowed them to make phone calls. every visit required a postcard he sent another one returned with placed on the date and time arranged. they couldn't call it that are to make appointments or travel agent to book a flight. there were no interpreters available. my parents couldn't go to any of these because they couldn't follow the conversations were going on. conversations in all settings have to be painstakingly written out on scraps of paper. movies have no captions. television had no captioning for my parents ended up exclusively to the foreign film theater and 40 seconds treat in new york or they can understand subtitles but couldn't understand the existential plot in situations
of antonio and renée on cartels which is a spoiled they could watch. my parents routinely excluded from places of public accommodation. my parents applied to an upscale housing development called park chester the application was turned down. no people were allowed in. my father is a world-class athlete that he was knighted and souvenir cathodic club for being as well as jewish. if either of my parents wanted to drive a car they would've needed an elaborate set of mirrors in the car but even the accommodation was impossible since insurance companies charge exorbitant rates for people even no people have lower rates of accident in hearing people. there's something nice on facebook today of a man who wanted to be a truck driver. he was denied the right to do that. in other words though my parents were american citizens, life is
a series of insults, integration and exclusion they had to accept because there was no other choice. only within the community they thrived them are fully appreciated. the same is true not only for people but people within a disabilities well into the 20th century. before legislation for people with disabilities there is a huge catalogue of abuses and barriers as the largest minority with disabilities that the poorest and least educated about minorities. people are disabilities are twice as likely as people without disabilities to annual household in about $50,000 or less. moreover 58% of people over 65 have some type of disability. if you had a severe disability that prevented you from taking covers off and getting around you had two choices. to be taken care of by your family or go to an institution.
you could not use local public transportation. railroads are long-haul buses like greyhound and you couldn't drive since automobile smart yet equipped with hand controls. you're confined to your house. you might go around her neighborhood beat only do so because self propel a wheelchair since power chairs were widely used with no curb cuts or ramps, most reform possible to navigate. you are left in the possession. if he went to school, you are segregated other children disabilities and college and university interviews. if he got into college and university couldn't stay in the dorm since they were accessible. if you are or hard of hearing -- i just saw something again on facebook of an article where someone was recounting and they went to college they were forced
to live in isolation because you were told their disability would be troubling to their roommate in college. if you are or hard of hearing attending classes in any university was difficult to impossible since sign language interpretation or real-time transcription services were not provided and if you're a skilled lip reader you only get 50% of what was bad. the material was recorded for the blind. if you had down syndrome, autism other disabilities you were shipped off to nightmarish institutions. such as willowbrook in places like this and the chances are good you would sit in your own or rocking back and forth to come for yourself in the midst of neglect. i could go want, but i know you know what i'm talking about. life is a person with a disability was much reduced if
not for him simply deprived life. women like anyone else with a right denied to you and keeping up with the joneses was beyond imagination. the economic and political realities for the social views developed along those problems that disabled people were treated like children. dependent come help us i'm like children eligible. most disabled people were not allowed the dignity of work, lovely, friends, children, advanced education and profession had been a person with disability is tantamount to an invisible person. society arguing essentially did not exist. this is all the more ironic since close to 20% of the population are people with disabilities. one out of five people of disabilities that the disabilities are hiding in plain sight. some disabilities like diabetes, muscular's sclerosis and depression can be invisible. others like deafness or vision
loss are not immediately noticeable. some like hepatitis c or a chevy or an other people. many were kept out of sight and special schools and institutions. how do you disappear a fifth of the population. faster the treatment of people with intimately related to charity. the head of the per child was as many of you remember -- were the television marathons or as they recalled telefon from the 1950s. disabled children of course children with the most childlike were trotted out to raise money for organizations like the march of dimes for polio comes for the muscular dystrophy association. i find this a fascinating picture of marilyn monroe with disabled children.
sort of like the icon of american beauty and physicality with the children who are supposed to be pitied in the march of dimes. jerry lewis princeton prowled around children with leg braces extolling the kids future while lowering their self-esteem and those of their peers. past poster children has spoken out about their humiliating experiences but culturally and socially such large-scale media events further diminish the civil rights of people with disabilities by indicating they were a group they need to charity us. how could they ever be a group that we share something as basic of civil rights with us. by the way, muscular dystrophy association announced the telefon is officially over. i want to talk about stories a little bit. and politics, stories help us reconstruct and re-tile not only
what happened at the morality mean ideology and impact of what happened. i saw the narrative structures to reception and interpretation of the story. it's important in the political religious movement that the story is not the policy meant that open to interpretation. no fancy interpretive cookie necessary. open the package of the story not water. the start of the african-american voters movement influenced the telling of the ada story. a template given by the histories gave overwhelming unrest activism and those introduced in congress by people in power were elected to pass the law s'more demonstration greater pressure that people in power relented. the bill is passed to the sense of it to read. that is the story. that is the template where you have the civil rights act was
sort of adapted to activism in the ada. the activists in the bill that told the story a few times. early versions around a group called adapt or demonstrated public transportation up to speed underground section by before the rehabilitation of the rehabilitation act of 1972 -- 73. two flashpoints. one was the initial block of how section 504 and the story was told nixon vetoed the bill twice in congress under pressure overrode the veto. i wanted to show you some clips that might illustrate the event.
[inaudible] [inaudible] with the civil rights act of 1964, voted for social change on the legal basis to push through reforms that were so overdue. laws are just words. it takes committed individuals to see they are enforced. when she was declared unqualified to teach because she couldn't walk, judy took the new york board of education and one. disabled in action. >> i'm going to go to the next slide which continues the point. >> we had been paid to a week and a few days before -- [inaudible] they're going to ask other organizations that wanted to do something publicly. so we organize within not many
days the demonstration which started out in manhattan at what we call the federal building. we've never been there before. when they got up there, it was like the middle of no place. we have this demonstration and a symbolic funeral of people being killed in the nixon administration. next-line we knew the city police drove up in a car. the above sent them over. [inaudible] we expect them -- [inaudible] we decided we were making the impact we wanted to, so we were going to sit down so we all went out into the street.
so we all got into our vans. in manhattan it's like a huge street, got out of the cars. we decided whether we're going to sit down in the street. or 30:00 in the afternoon we cut off four straight. but i was too scary because they're only 60 ready laugh and their huge trucks and cars. we decided it would only go one-to-one street. they were not paraplegics in manhattan and police would have had a representative and wanted to know what we wanted. they wanted to debate why they vetoed and the guys that were totally crazy.
>> that was one of the biggest ones on one of the snow it stays in washington's history. many people, over a hundred of these came down from new york city and basically stormed the capital, visited congressmen and all the congressmen who voted against it and built up enough support so is the strongest congressional override in history of a presidential veto. >> on september 23rd, 1953, nixon signed the rehabilitation that with yet another hurdle to be overcome. >> if you watch this and these are the stories told ,-com,-com ma but that didn't happen. being at the national archive is important because my job is a person who wrote a history of the ada if you're a writer you find yourself in conflict with the public's tory.
the public story is nixon vetoed twice to rehab act which contains section 504. section 504 as part of the art. each week section that very few people knew us in the act in and that little section gave civil rights to disabilities. many people -- we still don't know who put that in. mix in vetoed it twice because he didn't like the fact the rehab act was for vietnamese u.s. soldiers coming back from vietnam contained monies for independent living and independent living as an important part of the whole disability activist movement. the idea you could live independently.
so there was no override. there is never an override of the veto. what happened is nixon won. the faction that funded independent living was taken out and then congress voted for the act as it had voted to times before but the independent funding now. you can see the way the story is told is kind of a success. occupied streets of new york, coming down to washington, flooding offices in d.c. the pattern again. it's an interesting one i want to talk more about why that happened. i want to tell you a couple other stories and then draw this into something. i begin the book with a confrontation between senator ted kennedy and johnson. i'll
read a little bit of this from the boat.
in an upstairs room in the capitol, senator ted kennedy slammed his hand down on the table but they forced the ship the room. this hefty body now braced for the speed angled across the solid wooden as has declared that president george h.w. bush chief of staff john sununu. there had inches apart. there has inches apart, kennedy screamed, you want tfigo ? fine with me. you want to yell, yell at me. the tenants bulging from his neck. sununu became pale and quiet and back down. so at that table while the major senators involved in the act. the meeting was called together to 10 weeks of staff of the
negotiations between the white house and senate, some progress
had been made that a deadlock was apparent. the head razor with lauren hyde should -- others got together to see what could be done. one by one they came in and harkin brought along his aid, bobby silverstein who was one of the people who drafted what they are discussing. after some brief chitchat the principles begin their own discussion. sununu served as point person for the white house and was known to be a hardliner and official. ashley no brain whispered into the air of a staffer. you watch in 15 minutes to see how he is about the bill. kennedy himself and family members disabled. his sister was cognitively disabled. the sun lost a leg to cancer. many of the republicans in the
room were conservatives for the bill because they themselves have family members involved. silverstein peering into the pages upon pages of ledges nation had been idling noting and mentally were bending objections could kennedy cautioned sununu. he continued picking away. what if there is a broader shot on the second floor in new hampshire. would you expect the barber to his own elevator and accommodate wheelchair using customer in need of a haircut? send e-mail -- silverstein kept rebounding these kinds of objections and finally he started speaking to silverstein in a controlled voice but worked his way up to more impassioned. every time i say something you bring something up. i do want to hear from you
anymore. park admission shuffling his papers to think how to defend his son nathan kennedy jumped to his feet, his bulky frame a seismic jolts is that crashed against the table. hours of negotiation and years of maneuvering to get the bill through congress were taking their toll. harkin remembers kennedy would grab sununu by the caller. he pointed his finger and ballot if you want to yell at anybody, you yell at me for senator harkin. you don't go after the staff. you go after the big boys. in a moment of discussed, sununu suggested the room declared a falstaff and only elected members of congress should stay. kennedy's response, i said fine because he was staffed. that seemed to quiet things down. kennedy sat back as an awkward silence filled the room. sununu's usually robust frame seem to think down in his chair.
faces drained of color in an hour and a half later an agreement had been reached. that is the story when i was writing the book i heard from so many people. it's a nice story because it shows the idea someone is resisting, someone is progressively going after them and because of that the ada went through. it's true that it happened. it's not true that is a decisive moment. one of the things i talk about in the book if you're interested harkin, dole and kennedy with the group the day of the signing. was happening i can't go into is an illegal meaning going on between the different parties. they were called tobago breakfast held at the house of
the woman with the large shoulder pad. they produced the results of senate was able to accrue at the white house and pass the bill. the story is a good illustration but a lot less complicated than what really happened. so i will skip from not too one other story and there are many stories in the book better stories we by now and histories that may be somewhat different from the stories we know. the capital crawl. how many of you know about the capital crawl? the majority of the dome which is also interesting. within the circle of disability studies and activism, it is like the big moment. it is like the selma for disability activist. let me show you what they're talking about.
[inaudible] we are just asking for civil rights. we are demanding them now. see what people have to do in order to get it to the top of the building. i just remember the night before all of these ideas going through my head. you know, like all the years of fighting for disability rights, all the meetings. this big moment where i was going to release all of this energy by crawling up the steps. ..
adapters out of their wheelchairs and climbed up the steps to the capital to demonstrate of how inaccessible. so, you know, the rest is history. i was giving birth to my -- >> so that's the water-shed moment. that's the story that i knew. when i started doing research and talking to people, again, it turns out that it was not being stalled in congress. this is the largest most wide
ranging civil rights bill was passed. transportation, employment, public accommodation, you know, if you compare to civil acts right in 1964 which was huge emotionally and politically, that was a small act. it didn't cost people any money. one of the leaders of the ada act i -- a ct ivism you have to open the door. it took a long time to get through congress. actually it took a year from this version was introduced which is about the same it took for the 1964 act. it did have to go through an unprecedented four committees
and subcommittees. they're stalling, they're stalling. in fact, i don't think there was any doubt that the bill was going to pass. the question is what the bill was going to be. they were not privy to the issues of what was being traded and what's traded in order for that bill to get through. and the point is at that very moment, the bill was -- one of ten bills going through a particular committee across the street and it had been passed by that committee. the interesting thing that that moment was so important is, in fact, retro spectively
important. it was interesting how it got told and retold as it became a good story in the disability community. by the way, the capital is accessible just from that direction. but the point its impact on us and it gives us -- you know, it's not so different. it's that footage that you just saw, the america's disability watch it had protest that made it happened. it was fun for me to see all the armtwisted and bagel breakfast to make somebody's great idea of having civil rights act with people with disabilities become a reality.
the reason i have this picture is because i also just read recently that, you know, one of the great stories among jewish people which is celebrated every year -- you know the story. also the whole story of the wandering in the desert for 50 years has never been found that would say that that's true. 300,000 people wandering the desert. it's the one that defines a group of people? a. that's true here as well. by the way, if you want to continue on that, it wasn't like that. probably didn't make the american flag, you know, you can go down the line of the
methodology and if it isn't true, it should have been. so if i tell you -- and what i do in the book, and we are going to run out of time and i have to summarize briefly, what was way more important than the capital crawl was a bridge game. i have to go back now to pictures to explain that. every tuesday night these two people played bridge, evan, at the time was a disabled lawyer, he happened to be like a kick-ass bridge player.
gray became friends with kemp, he was the legal could believe to george bush. when bush became president he became legal counsel. they played bridge game every thursday night. with them were some of these people, profess or right on the left and emerson in the middle. they decided to come to washington, d.c. and try to stap reagan at the time from dismantling the disability benefits that were in place. there was the whole deregulation thing. things were going to be taken away for people with disabilities. they came to washington on their own. they crashed on the floor of
evan's apartment. they began to work with evan. evan is playing wards with boyen gray, still member of the federal society. you can imagine this weird connection between lefty activists hippies and boyden gray. the outsiders had direct lines in the white house, and they were i believe to -- information was going back and forth in both directions. in the book i detail a lot. this bridge game was probably more important, i think significantly more important than the march, the crawl. so all comes down to it's not
very a good -- basically all reputations come down to so what. so what if the crawl didn't have the effect that we thought it had. if it didn't happen, it should have. a premises of countries and religions as well. it did encourage to push for more concessions at the trading continued behind the scenes. the momentum that brought about the ada is perhaps too complex to convey. there's no way to be even tell you unless we have a lot of time together. a simple narrative, you know,
the weak against the large and mighty, moses and the pharaohs, rising up against the powerful and has the ability to create a history worth remembering, a history that if it isn't true, it should have been. i'll stop here. thank you. i'm out of time and we can have questions, statements. there are microphones, yeah, on your side, and if you have the mobility issue, the mic will be brought to you. hi. >> hi. yesterday in "the new york times" there was a piece of people scholars trying to use the ada in their favor. there's been similarly people have been crossed pregnancy as
disability. also, i mean, the economic issue, since the ada was passed in 1990, unemployment gone up and that has no traction. is that my imagination or is that a thing? >> there's kind of two or three thing that is -- things that you are talking about. i get what you say abuse of the regulations or in some case is fraud. [inaudible conversations] >> right. there is a whole line of thinking, you know, there's also an article in usa today that outlines some of your point of
view. the thing is you're a government program, there will be rates of fraud, there will be rates of -- from what i've seen and studies the fraud rates for benefits, lets say, it's under 1%. if you point to outliers you are going to find outliers. we have to understand that nothing is perfect. in terms of cost, you know, there is cost. there's no question about it. there are tax rebates for various aspects of accommodations. i think it's also important to know that the american disabilities act that that is we room. you don't have to comply with regulations if it will cause an undo burden to your business. it has to be a reasonable
accommodation. those two things, believe me, that was going on in the back room, they wanted everything immediately. these are the comprises. if you read my book, you'll see that the struggle was between those who wanted a bill who would protect people with disabilities and others protect businesses from people with disabilities. the bill was compromised in that sense. the third part of what you said -- >> the economic issue. >> right. so the thing is -- the bill has been successful in so many different areas. but where it is unsuccessful is where you pointed out. people with unemployment with disabilities is 80%. people with disabilities, you know, are generally poor because
of that. so the question is, why. the bill was framed -- this is part of the compromised also. it wasn't framed as a job promotion bill. the right wing did not wpt to see a department of disability that was supervising things and it didn't want to see -- the only way that the ada worked, the only way that you can get it to work is bring a lawsuit. i even had to bring a lawsuit. if there had been -- they had the department of disability you wouldn't have the lawsuit. number two, i'm going to say the words and you can cringe, in europe and japan the employment rate is 12%.
hour -- ours is 80%. you have to have 12% of your workforce be people with disabilities. george bush senior was not going to agree to cuoatas. we need to have encouragement. you're getting disability benefits and you go to work. a lot of people with disabilities, many people with disabilities have home assistance, have people that help them get out into the world. if i'm going to get a job and lose assistance, how am i going to get to work. there's better ways to develop a bridge being on disability
benefits and being able to work and not losing all of your rights. we just passed the marriage of quality act, pretty much everybody can get married except the people with disabilities getting benefits. if you're a person with disabilities and getting benefits, you lose the benefits. if that person has over $2,000 in assets you lose benefits. okay. >> the person with the red shirt. >> you have a microphone. >> what lessons you hope people when you set out to write this book, and also do you have anything more to talk about the bagel breakfast? >> i'm going to say you need to buy the book. [laughs] >> i was approached and i first
i just said, no. i didn't think that i could tell the story in right ways. it's discovery for me and i was fascinateed of the behind the scenes. how did the bill become a crazy idea, pass a civil rights bill for people with disability, we have this radical idea, we're all inspired by the civil rights act to become international law. the details is too complicated. it's all in the book. it's strategy, you know, all the organizing of all the demonstrations, all the pressure, these people are unnone to most of them. all of the people -- were unknown to me. i interviewed over 50 people to write this people. the first thing i did when i got the contract i interviewed bob,
that's the person i knew. he's 90. doll was person but not as important as the other people. it was nas fascinating for me. the easy way that i put it, i thought the 1964 was the act. the way i put it is it covers so much more in '64 you have to open restaurants, hotels movie theaters. that's a big thing. >> this may not be in your book, prior to '60s and '70s, franklin
roosevelt experiencing disabilities firsthand obviously, people before they tried that resulted in -- >> yeah. you know, if you do go visit the white house roosevelt readied the white house to make it easy using a wheelchair. roosevelt really tried to hide the disability. he made it look like he could walk. he couldn't walk. he create it had illusion that he could. instead of metaphor from the united states, could get back on his feet. but so -- so that's important. there are moments along the way that i described before the act that are increment -- trying to
and i'm sure in your book -- [laughs] >> about the rules in the ada. >> oh, yeah. why are you bringing it up, i'm curious? >> i know. >> i know it too. there are two or three part-time that were great sources for this book, and ralph is one of them, one of the things that you realize when you're writing a book like this you're talking about what happened 25 years ago. can you remember what happened 25 years ago? ralph can. i could say to ralph, what happened on july 15th, you know, 1989. he'll say, that day i was -- i was wearing -- he was the -- he
has disease which really knocked him for a loop, he understands the disability experience. he was the head of the civil rights leadership counsel or leadership counsel of civil rights. it's an interesting story and there's a story in the book about he's a white republican male, got to be the head of this organization that was seen as a civil rights organizations, and he early on he became friends with pat wright. he was very savvy person, she came to washington and fought and wanted to do a civil rights concept. she went to ralph. ralph was the read of all the civil rights organizations in the united states. he liked her and made a dynamic
duo. so, yeah, he had a very important role to play. [laughs] >> the next speaker. okay. sorry. >> the united nations treaty and disability rights has not been able to make it to the united states senate, have the politics of disability rights changed in the last 25 years, something they can't make it happened? >> for sure. i act a number of politicians that i interviewed if the ada was on the floor of the senate, almost without an exception, without an exception they all said, no. ada came out now, it wouldn't have. i don't have to explain what is going on right now. it's hard to get anything through. particularly if all of the exceptions that have been raised about it, the costs, the effect
on business, increase of regulation, unfunded mandate, it would have killed us now. the un, one of the reasons that it's so important, it became a template for all other legislation around the world. every other country has basically followed it. the un took it and wrote the treaty which has been signed by every county in the world. basically the ada for the world. it's been signed in the us, in the last two years people have been trying to get the u.s. to ratify it. two years ago bob dohl came to the floor and john mccain implored the senate to pass the treaty. no. the reason why not is because there's a historic distris
particularly on the far right of un treaty, because of the fare that the united nations will tell the u.s. what to do. and then the other slight edge to it, home scores, the tea party side of things have been saying, we don't want tonighted nations how to teach our children at home. that's been effective enough and the treaty hasn't gone through. but yet, things have changed now. >> i've advocated for people with special needs and i have spoken publicly. reading your book -- after completing my doctorate i consider working in a profession that i will make a positive
difference of the life of individuals. reading your book -- i want to thank for the positive impact. i wanted to thank you very much for the wonderful work that you do. i know that you are making a public difference for many people. >> thank you, i appreciate that. i'll say the fact that you are where you are thinking about what you want to do is really a result of the ada. i mean, i think that the next big front here -- issues like autism, neurodiversity, learning disabilities. that's where the challenges are right now in terms of majority of legal cases against universities. universities have been slowed on the uptake in terms of complying with issues around disability, different types of neurotypicalty or nontypicalty
and also internet access for blind people and mobile disabilities, so awesome. [laughs] >> i really like this program and i think that you're going a great job. a few questions, what has been the impact, you know, you talk about the fact that 80% of people with disabilities are unemployed, you know, financial problems, continue a lot of access to different things, continue not to be met, what is the problem of this in relationship, for example, to ethic minority groups? how has it been impacted by it? it seems to me that, you know, when the united states go out to talk, that they often speak much
about disabilities, you know, speak about human rights, political rights and freedom of speech but don't speak much about disabilities. has ada any way that example countries -- i'm from the the carribean, that's where i'm from, tried to allow people with disabilities great -- i'm a long-time diabetic myself. people that are mobility challenge, et cetera, the countries want to be able to allow them a greater access to life in a way that they with access u.s. money, what is going on here? and also the relationship between the u.s. disabled continue and the other disabled communities internationally.
>> those are great conditions and if we had about another three hours i could answer that question. just quickly, as far as i know, there's no money, and you know, that's an important point. without money, you know, there's no money coming from the u.s., for example. with that, you know, it has not ratified the u.n. treaty. president obama has been doing things with executive orders and you can go online. he just last week -- i was at the white house with a lot of other people when he made a speech about the ada. it was a great speech and it's on youtube, white housegov. noticed that anybody did his speeches, states of the union, he won that for the first time and the second time, he always mentioned disabilities, that's the first president who has done
that on a regular basis whatever symbolic vau it -- value it has. in terms of ethnicity, right after the civil rights act was passed, lets add -- he had down syndrome grandson. we would take care of that. they had added a gender a couple of years after. but it turns out there was a big pushback from the african american community. they didn't want to civil rights act brought back ton forum. for a long time there was a tension with the african americans and minorities, even though when you combine factors, lets say disability and race,
you combine disability, race and you get perfect disaster, right. so if you're black and poor and you're disabled, you're going to be in a lot more trouble. i had students who have gone up from other places that are dealing with deaf people, people -- blind people in poor countries. there's a lot of issues developing. how to make wheelchairs out of bicycle parts, that i thinks that are available for people. how to make low cost, you see some of that with 3d printers. if they could be brought to
countries where there isn't an easy access. it's a really long complicated issue but very important. [applause] >> thank you. >> just a reminder there is a book signing one level up. we'll see you up there in just a few moments. [inaudible conversations] >> every weekend book tv brings you 48 hours of nonfiction authors and books on c-span2. keep watching for more