Disability Justice is who we are and what we do.
Disability Justice is civil rights. There are many organizations promoting civil rights. We promote civil rights as guaranteed in the US Constitution, reinforced by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
This year we celebrate 30 years of the ADA. This year is also the 100th anniversay of the 19th Amendement to the Constitution.
The 19th Amendment did not give women the right to vote. Women already had that Constitutional right. The 19th Amendment tore down the societal barrier to women voting. The ADA is the same. The ADA tears down the societal blocks to full civil rights for people with disabilities. The ADA regulations and standards are federal law deisnged to tear down the physical and societal barriers to inclusion. ADA regulations and standards are not suggestions, they are law.
We, Disability Justice work to build active, effective implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Board of Directors
Dorothy K Dean, Founder & CEO
Dorothy K Dean, served as an elected official in Milwaukee County. Dean advocated for better mental health options, fair housing, victims of crime, county parks, economic development and mass transit. Dean is a life-long advocate for public policy that improves quality of life. She has served on many community organization boards including: Girls Scouts, Harambee Ombudsman Project; public boards including the Wisconsin County Mutual Insurance Board, Milwaukee County Research Park Board, Combined Community Services Board, and Milwaukee County Commission on Aging.
Jennifer Lee Edmondson, Director
Jennifer has founded a nonprofit to address a medical problem that is not being addressed by anyone else. She is leaving the board here to devote more time to her growing nonprofit. Best wishes!
Jennifer Lee Edmondson owns and operates Edmondson Law Office, and is the founder & CEO of Health, Education & Welfare, a 501c-3 nonprofit, in Appleton, Wisconsin. Born and raised in Milwaukee, and the product of public school education from kindergarten through law school, Edmondson has practiced law in nearly every practice area, and throughout the State of Wisconsin, during her 34 year career. She has represented abused and neglected children in Milwaukee County Children's Court system, school districts, Wisconsin municipalities, small businesses, and large corporations. For the past 24 years, she has limited her practice to representing workers injured in serious and catastrophic accidents.
Jo Kolanda, Director
Jo Kolanda led the effort to write and enact Wisconsin's first statutory recognition of victims' rights. This was the first victim rights legislation in the country. She was first Director of the Victim Witness Services unit in the office of the Milwaukee County District Attorney, working to make the criminal justice system responsive to the needs of crime victims. She has been a featured speaker at seminars and conferences around the country.
We owe the suffragists of the 19th and 20th centuries, gratitude for our corporate name, Nothing Less. The women who fought for the right to vote created this statement: "Men their rights and nothing more. Women their rights and nothing less." Our rights is where Disability Justices starts.
We owe so much to the Civil Rights fights of the 20th century. The dangerous, courageous fight by Black people == it is impossible to say enough.
People with disabilities fought discrimination for decades. More voices are joining the fight. We educate, advocate and agitate for democracy.
These fights push us to continually renew the promise of the US Constitution. -- equality and inclusion for everyone. That's democracy.
Public Policy for Real People Not Stereotypes
We are committed to the guarantees of the Constitution. We are committed to Congress' intent in passing the ADA in 1990 and in passing the Amendment Act in 2008. We are committed to full implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act as Congress intended and the Constitution guarantees.
We welcome allies and self-advocates:
- Embracing the American value of a society that includes everyone
- Recognizing barriers to inclusion
- Effectively challenging barriers
- Advocating good public policy: local, state, and federal
- Sharing success stories with the media
- Civic participation and Voting
Disability Justice breaking down barriers:
Ongoing work includes improvements in the State of Wisconsin. We want Wisconsin committment to the ADA. We want the discrimination in the Department of Safety and Professional Services to stop. We want the discrimination in the Department of Transportation and the DMV to stop. (We will post more information about this as we progress.)
We actively promote public understanding of the ADA. We actively promote civil rights for people with disabilities. Every resgtroom is a step to full inclusion in society.
Milwaukee Area Technical College finally has ADA compliant restrooms at the Oak Creek campus. This required a formal discrimination complaint to the US Department of Justice. MATC's investment in ADA compliance over 15 years was a miserable 2% of the budget. MATC's budget is public tax dollars. Where is the money going?
There are pool lifts now at every one of Xperience Fitness' in the state of Wisconsin. The US Department of Justice is also requiring other improvements.We are notifying other pool facilities in the state of this action and encouraging them to put in a lift if they don't already have one.
The Washington Court Hotel (in DC) has made numerous improvements throughout - guest rooms, convention center, staff training, and more.
Numerous privately owned parking lots have better striping and have stopped pushing snow into the handicapped spots. People who don't use the spaces for disabled parking just don't notice that. It is good to put a penalty in the snow plowing contract. Every day the disabled parking is blocked, the plowing company will be charged a fee.
Unusable sidewalks, no curb cuts, steps with no ramp, unsafe restrooms, and locked handicap doors are the norm. We demand better.
The ADA insures that people with disabilities are guaranteed " . . . the opportunity to blend fully and equally into the rich mosaic of the American Mainstream . . . We will not tolerate discrimination in America."
- George H W Bush, 1990 signing the ADA into law