How the ADA Improved the Lives of Denver's Disability Community

The Emmy-nominated “30 Years Later: How the ADA enabled Denver’s Disability Community to ‘Boldly Go Where Everyone Else Has Gone Before’” tells the story of how, on July 5, 1978, a group of men and women known as the "Gang of 19" blocked buses owned by the Regional Transportation District in Denver’s busiest intersection to call attention to the need for adequate wheelchair-accessible transit. The action was among those nationwide that eventually led to the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990.

To mark the anniversary of its passage, in 2020 I Am Denver highlighted the impact the ADA has had on the disability community and the role Denver activists played in fighting for the civil rights of people living with disabilities. I Am Denver conducted virtual and socially distant interviews during the COVID-19 pandemic and also coordinated with both hearing and native sign language interpreters to ensure the video’s accessibility. At a time when celebrations were virtual and meaningful moments could not be shared in person, this piece served to honor those who fought for equal rights for all while also addressing work that continues today.
In June of 2021, in partnership with Denver Film, I Am Denver hosted a panel discussion to dig even deeper into the ongoing struggle for accessibility with disability rights advocate André van Hall; Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition Executive Director Julie Reiskin; Actor, Producer and Advocate Stewart Tucker Lundy; and Deaf Interpreter Chelsea Lee. Civil Rights Attorney Emily Harvey and Access Gallery Executive Director Damon McLeese moderated the discussion, which will leave you laughing, cheering and shaking your head.


The ADA's Impact on the lives of three Denverites


In honor of the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, André van Hall — who lost his eyesight in 2011 — talks about how he's benefited from it.

What does true accessibility look like to a Native Signer and Deaf Interpreter? Chelsea Lee shares some thoughts to mark the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“I use the hashtag #WheelchairBossLife because that’s what I feel like I’m doing,” says Denver actor and disability rights advocate Stewart Tucker Lundy as he reflects on how the ADA has impacted his life.