Pioneers

The people in the this category remember when children with disabilities were sent to live in an institution, or at best, were schooled in a private setting. In spite of no access to public schools, most went on to achieve college degrees. The independent lives that they lead now are very different from the olden days. They actively participated in the long struggle to get the ADA passed. They have learned how change takes time, but can be achieved. These stories are a valuable resource to younger people with disabilities as they learn advocacy. And each person is a role model.

Dan and his wife

How Far We’ve Come – Dan Greany

Dan Greany has lived through changes brought by the ADA. He remembers when there was no PCA program in western ...
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Karen Schneiderman testifies against Assisted Suicide at the State House in 2012.

Any Time a Person with a Disability Goes Outside, It’s a Political Statement – Karen Schneiderman

Karen Schneiderman describes her growth as she learned about the wide range of disabilities, the commonalities of wanting to stay ...
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Michael (r) at Boston 2012 ADA

What is Independent Living? – Michael Muehe

Michael speaks about his journey since his injury in 1976. He has been a key member of the Boston Center ...
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Jim Kruideneir

Perspective of an Executive Director – Jim Kruideneir

As executive director of STAVROS, the independent living center in Amherst and Springfield, Jim has played an important role in ...
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Paul Spooner speaking at a PCA rally

Civil Rights Movement and Disability Rights – Paul Spooner

"July 26th is my 4th of July!" As an early proponent of the Independent Living movement, Paul Spooner continues to ...
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Joe Tringali, Charlie Carr and Paul Spooner
Joe Tringali, Charlie Carr and Paul Spooner