Between 1986 and 1990, Justin Dart jr. made multiple trips to all 50 United States, eager to document the ongoing struggles of people with disabilities to assert their civil rights. By bringing these impassioned testimonies before Congress, Dart effectively convinced policy-makers of the need for legal protection of the rights of people with disabilities.
The Americans with Disabilities Act was born.
Today, It’s Our Story is poised to share those landmark testimonies—the ADA Diaries—featuring 5,000 from Alaska to Guam to Puerto Rico to Maine.
Please help us transcribe your state’s disability rights stories in time to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the ADA on July 26, 2015. With your financial support, It’s Our Story can create a searchable, fully accessible database that can be enjoyed, interrogated, and celebrated by students, historians, and educators for years to come.
It’s time to share our stories with the world.
Missing in Action
Freedom of Information Act Request Required
In 2001, original, handwritten testimonies—as well as audio recordings and newspaper clippings—were donated to the Department of Labor. These media chronicled the cumulative impact of people with disabilities and the formation of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990.
Despite having made numerous inquiries as to the whereabouts of these original ADA Diaries, It’s Our Story has long been unable to track down these seminal documents that have helped to shape the past, present, and future for American citizens with disabilities.
Only with the help of Jonathan Young, Chairman of the National Council on Disability, was It’s Our Story able to secure photocopies of photocopies chronicling only a fraction of these historic materials.
Please contact It’s Our Story’s Scott Cooper to be a part of this wide-ranging quest. Together, we can help rescue the vital voices of the past.
Freedom of Information Act
Resources to Find Our History
We Plus You
It’s Our Story has posted
10,000 pages of testimonies,
petitions, newspaper articles,
supporting the Passage of the
ADA. Today, this material is
ready for transcription, and
It’s Our Story is dedicated to
making these historical
documents “accessible to all.”
You can help It’s Our Stor
secure the past and educate the
future. Volunteer to transcribe
the ADA Diaries, or make a
financial contribution. Your
efforts will enable the publication
of more than 10,000 documents
of critical history currently locked
within the ADA Diaries archives.