To be totally honest with you, before my accident, I didn’t really know what the ADA was. I guess I should have been more aware of the Americans with Disabilities Act when I was able bodied.
Since my accident, I have learned a lot about the ADA and you become a lot more humble as a result. It’s nice seeing and understanding from both sides. When I first began using a power wheelchair, and experienced life from a different perspective, I became more aware these laws that have been in place for people with disabilities and why things have been so hard for so long for individuals with disabilities.
It’s important to understand why people fight for these laws. If it wasn’t for the Americans with Disabilities Act, most of us would not be able to go into stores or other businesses. Some places wouldn’t let homes be modified with accessible entrances or ramps. You always have to ask these kinds of questions to humble yourself. Imagine life without all these extra amenities that were given to us because of those who fought for the ADA?
It goes to show you when everybody comes together, you can make things happen and enact change. It does take time but at the end of the day, if you are changing something, you’re making a better tomorrow for yourself and for future generations of individuals living with disabilities. So, when I think of the ADA, it’s not so much about the laws but all the people that fought for these rights. It humbles me and makes me appreciate the real individuals that fight for what matters: equality and a higher quality life. It’s what everyone, able bodied or disabled, deserves.
There are so many people that I appreciate in terms of the ADA. I appreciate the people and organizations who fight for our rights. I appreciate the lobbyists who fight for us. I appreciate Congress for passing the law. I appreciate all the businesses, like Quantum®, that provide wheelchairs or power wheelchairs for people like me. Without them, we would not be able to move around and live our lives the way we want to.
About Jesse Cuellar: Jesse is an artist and a brand ambassador for Quantum Rehab®. An accident left him paralyzed from the neck down, so he uses his mouth to paint and expresses himself through his art. Jesse lives in St. Louis, Missouri, and enjoys painting and hanging out with his friends. Click here to learn more about Jesse.