Wednesday, October 3, 1990
One year after the Greyhound transportation protests of 1989, and a little more than two months after the passage of the ADA, ADAPT was back in Atlanta to roll out their new initiative aimed at addressing the need for community-based Attendant Services, which, if provided, would allow people living with disabilities the opportunity to live in their own homes rather than nursing homes – far and away the norm of the day.
Over 200 activists from 24 states and 35 cities gathered to support the effort which began with day-long training sessions to bring everyone up to speed. On the second day, the action descended on Morehouse College, alma mater of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, but also alma mater of current Health and Human Services Secretary, Dr. Louis Sullivan. The goal was to garner a meeting with the Secretary. This did not happen but, after a night spent holding the administrative office, Morehouse and ADAPT held a joint press conference supporting community-based services.
The final day of the action had ADAPT members marching in single file down Martin Luther King Drive to the Richard B. Russell Federal Building where they would block all ground floor entrances and exits. The goal was to counter Dr. Sullivan’s NPR interview that day on healthcare. An ADAPTer was lucky enough to be a “first caller,” challenging Sullivan to explain his stance. Irate, Sullivan gave a weak response on national radio, showing his true colors and intent to stall.
And so began the struggle for community-based Attendant Care.