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Disability rights leader Marca Bristo dies at 66

Marca Bristo headshot
Marca Bristo founded and led Access Living, a non-profit that advocates for legislation and policies that ensure fair housing and accessible transportation for people with disabilities. Image: a recent headshot of Marca Bristo. (Photo: accessliving.org)

Marca Bristo, one of the most influential advocates for people with disabilities in the U.S., died on Sunday morning after a long battle with cancer. She was 66.

After becoming paralyzed in a diving accident at 23, Bristo dedicated her life to disability rights advocacy and worked tirelessly to secure legal protections and improve quality of life measures for people with disabilities.

Among her many achievements, Bristo played a significant role in getting the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) passed. She also founded Access Living in Chicago, a nonprofit that promoted independent living, and in 1993 she was appointed by President Clinton to lead the National Council on Disability. She provided strategic leadership to the organization in that role until 2002.

Click here to read Marca Bristo’s full obituary in the New York Times.

NCDJ Webinar Explores Writing about Disability

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Tim McGuire, former Minneapolis Star Tribune editor who holds the Frank Russell Chair for the Business of Journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, is featured in a webinar hosted by the National Center on Disability and Journalism.

McGuire discusses his experiences writing and publishing his first book, “Some People Even Take Them Home: A Disabled Dad, a Down Syndrome Son, and Our Journey to Acceptance.” McGuire, a board member of the NCDJ, tells the story of his family, his own disability and that of his son Jason.

McGuire also answers questions about tips and best practices when reporting on people with disabilities, advising against taking an “oh-those-poor-people” approach that he says he has observed in a lot of disability reporting.

Instead, he suggests that reporters “exalt and respect” people with disabilities while also normalizing their triumphs and failures as they would anyone else.

Watch a recording and access the live captions here: https://connect.asu.edu/p4rkas0o96b/

 

NPR

Accessible Designs Could Help Us All – But Only if Firms Bite

Columbia Law student Alex Blaszczuk demonstrates how accessible technology allows her to live a more independent life and enjoy many of the things she used to before a car accident left her paralyzed from the shoulders down.

In this NPR profile, Blaszczuk becomes a Google Glass explorer and is able to take pictures, find driving directions and take a camping trip with friends. Google is one of only a few big tech firms working to create accessible technologies for the disabled community. Read more.

Downtown Devil

Student doesn’t let blindness hold her back from pursuing her dreams


A girl sits on a couch, laughing and smiling frequently. Her colorful, bright dress matches her vibrant personality. A black Labrador, Olivia, is sprawled on the carpet contentedly. She’s never too far away from her owner, criminal justice sophomore Katherine Chavez.



In conversation, Katherine has a peculiar tendency to look above the head of whomever she’s speaking with, like she expects the person to be taller than he or she really is. It’s a rough subject to bring up, as if calling attention to the elephant in the room. But why does she do that?



The answer: Katherine can’t see.

The Arizona Republic

Phoenix man killed at Reno air show; leaves 3 brothers behind

The four brothers leaned on one another, and sometimes it seemed like they leaned on Mikey most – the serious one who started his own company in high school, the brave one who wrote letters to ask for things they needed, such as wheelchairs and scholarships and maybe baseball tickets – and the only one to graduate from college so far.