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.
2004-2006: Silver Linings
With political battles raging within and war without, 2004-2006 was a stormy time in our nation. Those of us with serious disabling conditions could not escape our own personal battles — mainstream misunderstanding of our ongoing issues, dead-end job prospects, and negative stereotyping. Dee Sandin turned to humor as a way of coping with our frustration and anger. Her columns and stories made us laugh out loud. Richard Holicky dove deep into the gang life and found a deadly struggle for survival and, surprisingly, self-determination alive and well in unlikely places. Roxanne Furlong’s profile of twins Kari and Kathi helped us see how change, even catastrophic change, can be turned to our advantage. And Jeff Shannon reminded us to look at the whole media picture, not just the parts that devalued our lives. The storm was all around us, but we found the silver linings.
Ability to Sleep on Toilet an Asset
by Dee Sandin
Am I a successful para? It’s not like I applied for the job and worked hard to be really good at it.
Gangbangers: Back from the Brink
by Richard Holicky
You’d think that getting shot and ending up in a chair would be enough to send people on a different career path. Some people, like Eric Gibson, learn more quickly than others.
Twins and Spinal Cord Injury
by Roxanne Furlong
The twin sisters talk about going off to college as their first “divorce,” their marriages as their second divorce, and the SCI as a glitch in their lives.
New Mobility, April 2005
Inside the Million Dollar Maelstrom
by Jeff Shannon
The disability community has a legitimate complaint against Million Dollar Baby’s misguided images of disability. We have every right to cry foul, as Not Dead Yet activist Steve Drake did in a widely quoted and potently argued attack against the film: “This movie is a corny, melodramatic assault on people with disabilities,” Drake wrote in his essay, “Dangerous Times,” in Ragged Edge. “It plays out killing as a romantic fantasy and gives emotional life to the ‘better dead than disabled’ mindset lurking in the heart of the typical (read: nondisabled) audience member.”
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