For the next several months, NEW MOBILITY will be celebrating 25 years of journalism by and for active wheelchair users. Join us for a look back at each period of the magazine’s history, starting with our first issues circa the passage of the ADA. Each month we’ll move down the timeline, sharing key moments in disability rights and lifestyle from almost 250 issues of NM.
1993-1996: Identity & Inclusion
In the early post-ADA years, we faced a dilemma: how to advocate for inclusion when the mainstream viewpoint missed the truth about who we were. To us, we were individuals, each unique, who wanted equal opportunity, like everyone else. But to the general public we all looked alike and wanted “special” consideration. We were stamped, labeled, segregated and stereotyped.
Barry Corbet, truly one of a kind, wrote eloquently about our group identity by breaking us down into a diverse collection of characters: “We yearn for our most visible players to act and speak for us all. They will not. All they can do is be themselves.” Luckily for us, Barry remained true to himself and to his vision that there is power in lifestyle, in images and activities that show all of us in our imperfect glory. Without that vision, NEW MOBILITY might have gone the way of People, showcasing only the glamorous, the wealthy, the airbrushed aristocrats of popular culture. But of course, that was not our story, not our identity.
New Mobility, August 1996
by Barry Corbet
Roll right up and come right in, ladies and gents, we’ve got big shots galore this month. We’ve got eye-popping movie stars and Eye-talian rock stars, world-class athletes and cold-facts activists. We’ve got the only openly quadriplegic recovering alcoholic conservative political candidate in captivity, and the second largest sporting event on earth. We’ve got Fonzi, Dangling and Squirt, and Jerry Lewis to boot.
Vote each month on your favorite cover from the featured time period. In October, we’ll share the seven most popular covers from 25 years — vote again, and see NM’s best cover of all time in the December issue. Click here to vote.
New Mobility, May-June 1994
We’re Talking about Inclusion Here
The issue is not the right to die. The issue is to offer services to people who live in their own apartments with attendant services. Then pretty soon they can get back to life.
I remain optimistic. We are going to bring more people out of institutions and we are going to help people get the kind of freedom and empowerment they need. …
New Mobility, September-October 1994
The ADA and Other Unfunded Mandates
by Lucy Gwin
Landmark legislation though it be, the ADA has birthed a mighty backlash.
Unfunded mandate is the toxic new term for what mayors, governors and county councils have to waste good money on: curb cuts and lift-equipped buses, ramps and elevators, interpreters and Braille, all of our reasonable accommodations. We are perhaps the only citizens who find these accommodations reasonable. Even Bob Dole, a gimp in his own right, is on the down-with-unfunded-mandates wagon.
New Mobility, November-December 1994
by Jeff Smith
When I was in rehab, after the whoops that put me on these wheels, my class got well enough that the docs figured we were ready for The Talk. “Your sex life …
What a difference 25 years makes.
SIGNS OF THE TIMES