A Ramp to the Moon by Melina Fatsiou-Cowan
Reflecting on change is not an easy endeavor. Life is change. With that in mind, New Mobility set out to get a glimpse of how the experience of women with disabilities has changed in the past few decades–both politically and personally. We talked to many women, from twentysomethings to seventysomethings, from all over the country and with all sorts of backgrounds.
Mona Hughes, 58, knows what it was like to grow up in an era when women with disabilities were expected to remain in the shadows. “We were a generation of individuals with disabilities raised with the idea of don’t make waves. Don’t complain. Be grateful for what you have.” By contrast, says Hughes, a polio survivor and author of Women and Disabilities: It Isn’t Us and Them, younger women are much less willing to accept that attitude.
Hughes and other experienced advocates see change on the horizon as young women with disabilities deal with emerging issues such as caregiver shortages and eugenics, as well as the continuing struggle for more self-determination. “I’m very impressed with young disabled women,” says Marsha Saxton, 50, a professor of disability studies at University of California, Berkeley, who has spina bifida. “I work with disabled college students,