Road to Freedom

In the February of 2007 the Mississippi Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities, its members, and partners served as state host to the ADA Road to Freedom Tour which came to Mississippi’s Capitol for three days.

  • A welcoming event was held at the Mississippi Capitol with a press conference, introduction of the Road to Freedom Tour on the Senate and House floors.
  • Don’t dis My abilities Concert at Millsap’s College
  • Testimonials night at Wells Memorial Methodist Church
  • ADA Awareness Day at Madison Central High School

The Road to Freedom Tour was a national awareness campaign inspired by the historic journey of Justin and Yoshiko Dart who traveled across America to mobilize support for passage of the ADA in 1990. Sponsored by ADA Watch, the year-long, cross-country bus journey launched from Washington, DC on November 15th, 2006. Its mission was to engage audiences across the United States by telling the story of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the history of the disability rights movement.

The Road to Freedom aimed to remind Americans of the promise of the ADA – freedom, inclusion, and equal opportunities for children and adults with physical, mental, cognitive and developmental disabilities. With the powerful support of the Mississippi disability community, the tour raised public interest in disability issues and encouraged public officials to tackle issues such as employment, public accommodations, housing, education, and transportation.

Among the exhibits featured were Tom Olin’s historical photographs of the struggle for disability rights that have been displayed at the Smithsonian Institute. Exhibits also included a narrative of the grassroots history of the ADA as written by Arlene Mayerson of the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF).

This was an excellent opportunity to celebrate the history of the ADA and the disability rights movement as well as learn more about the movement’s origins and how we can continue to advocate for people with disabilities.