Monday, March 12, 1990
Just prior to the famous “Capitol Crawl” as it has come to be known, and just after the finish of ADAPT’s “Wheels of Justice” march from the White House to the Capitol, 700 people gathered on the west side, facing the Mall, to listen to fiery speeches by Justin Dart Jr, Chair of the President’s Committee on Employment of PWDs, Rep. Pat Schoeder (D-CO), I. King Jordan, President, Gallaudet University, Rep. Major Owens (D-NY), Bobby Silverstein, Senate Disability Policy Sub-Committee on Labor and HR, Evan Kemp, Jr., Chair of the EEOC, James Brady, former Reagan Press Secretary, and Mike Auberger, Co-Founder of ADAPT.
They had come to demand swift passage of the ADA – with no weakening amendments. When Justin rolled to the microphone, the crowd fell silent.
“You are the pioneer patriots of the 20th Century. We are here today representing 43 million Americans with disabilities forced by massive discrimination to be this nation’s most isolated, unemployed, impoverished and welfare-dependent minority. President Bush has estimated the economic cost to America of this discrimination to be $300 billion per year. The devastating human cost would be impossible to communicate in number or words. We are here today to tell the Congress that two centuries is long enough for people with disabilities to wait for the Constitutional promise of Justice.”
Following the speeches, empowered and chanting, everyone moved to the steps – and one by one, spontaneously began to crawl.