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.
At NEW MOBILITY, when the shock of 9/11 began to wear off, we realized that many of our own had been trapped in the World Trade Center. Instantly, the need for inclusive evacuation planning came to the forefront. In this section we have reprinted the first of a three-part series by Josie Byzek and Tim Gilmer that focused on this critical need that still exists today. Other important disability topics had a difficult time competing with the growing preoccupation with the nation’s security. Christopher Reeve’s stem cell campaign had to take a back seat, but his personal story remained front and center. Gilmer literally went behind the scenes to interview Reeve in the privacy of his home. Phil Simmons, battling Lou Gehrig’s disease, wrote eloquently about his progressive loss of function and his growing spiritual awareness. And Barry Corbet had the final say in the debate over physician-assisted suicide, retitling it “physician-assisted death” while asking probing questions that the debate had yet to answer. It was a period of reckonings — a time of evaluating critical issues of life, loss, and how best to adapt.
New Mobility, November 2001
9/11: A Day to Remember
by Josie Byzek and Tim Gilmer
Ed Beyea and John Abruzzo — both wheelchair users — were working on separate floors of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. True to the human drama of that day, one lived and one died, but their stories stand as a tribute to the friends and coworkers who risked their lives to help them.
New Mobility, November 2002
Christopher Reeve: Behind The Mystique
by Tim Gilmer
When I arrived at Christopher Reeve’s home, for some reason I expected to be greeted by snarling Rottweilers and gray-suited men with walkie-talkies. Instead, a thirtyish woman with red hair emerged from the house with a warm smile. “You’re welcome to look around to your heart’s content,” she said. “Christopher will be ready shortly.”
New Mobility, May 2003
Physician Assisted Death: Are We Asking the Right Questions?
by Barry Corbet
What you make of physician-assisted death is your business, but here’s where I landed after I made it mine:
After all the discussion, suicide remains a personal matter. Individuals, not organizations, commit suicide. We shouldn’t moralize or psychologize after the fact.
What If …
by Philip Simmons
Philip Simmons outlived the sense that his ALS was unusual. “We live in bodies, after all,” he wrote. “And it is the nature of bodies, soon or late, to fail. Even the healthiest of us is, as the poet William Butler Yeats says, ‘fastened to a dying animal.’”
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.
SIGNS OF THE TIMES