September 10, 2015
Contact: Janine Bertram: firstname.lastname@example.org
The national Road to Freedom Bus Tour joins others in the disability community by canceling its appearance at the Lansing ADA 25 celebration.
The Lansing event’s primary funders are Peckham and Michigan Association of Rehabilitation Organizations (MARO). Peckham is considered one of the largest and most exploitive industries paying subminimum wages to people with disabilities. It was featured on CNN as part of the SourceAmerica federal contractor investigation for taking federal funds and not hiring a sufficient number of people with disabilities as required under the terms of the federal contract. MARO members include Peckham and other segregated sheltered workshop “providers” that pay people with disabilities (capable of working in integrated settings for minimum or prevailing wage) subminimum wage.
“The ADA bus hit the brakes and made a U turn on our way to Lansing, Michigan for their ADA celebration,” explains Tom Olin, Director of the Disability Rights Center and Captain of the ADA Bus. “The Freedom Bus has crisscrossed the U.S.A. bringing displays to celebrations and educational forums. We’ve supported advocates for consumer control and independence. A question that is asked time after time is ‘has the promise of the ADA been fulfilled?’ And yes, we have gained some tools in our fight for civil rights but economic justice and equality for all is still elusive for many with different disabilities in our community. Until we come together and say ‘You and I are equal,’ the ADA will be unfulfilled and justice denied. The ADA was written by us for us, not to make money from oppressing us. Let that stop here and now.”
Tom Olin, Janine Bertram and David Fulton (RTF Bus Tour) are acting now to support real consumer control in Michigan. We cannot collaborate with or condone the businesses profiting by oppressing our community.
This year’s Road to Freedom ADA Bus Tour is a project of The Disability Rights Center. The Bus has made two full tours around the United States: once in 2007 with Wired on Wheels and again in 2014-15 with The ADA Legacy Project. The 2015-2016 tour is to educate about disability rights, assist local groups in their work and help preserve the history of the disability rights movement. Tom Olin has “captained” the ADA Bus on all three tours.