This is my introductory blog post to Brill Consulting LLC! I’m excited to start by celebrating our 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), in honor of a wonderful, recently departed friend, Chuck Graham (Read more: https://declarationforindependence.org/nab-mourns-the-loss-of-chuck-graham/).
Chuck acquired quite a long list of admirable achievements in life, but our friendship was greatest in our innumerable discussions about the ADA. Chuck was a wheelchair user, like my daughter, Alexa, now age 31. We would often discuss wonderful ADA successes, the lack of ADA enforcement within many businesses and community environments, as well as the persistence and determination that needs to be within each of us to continue to push the barriers that remain. Chuck and I bonded over our dedication to a 30-year old law, and our persistence in helping it to become the shining star for access, equality and inclusion it is meant to be.
The ADA has helped my daughter in many ways, and we are so thankful for its existence! Throughout Alexa’s life, it has, and continues to, allow her to access numerous community environments and services. Our family is greatly appreciative to the many individuals who have been instrumental in the drafting and passing of this law, and the leadership that followed.
However, even with the ADA in existence, numerous barriers, attitudes and stigmas continue to exist for people who have disabilities, limiting one’s ability to reach one’s full potential. Our family faced, and fought for, our daughter’s inclusion in all areas of her life. As we look back on Alexa’s life, we realize how instrumental the ADA has been in helping us to overcome barriers she faced. Numerous expanded blog posts will be focusing on issues that were resolved by using the power of the ADA. Issues such as using technology for living independently, employment, adding a wheelchair lift to the regular school bus, inclusion in typical daycare and public school, power wheelchair skating on public ice rinks, playground accessibility, accessible kiddie rides at amusement parks, and many more. Yes, the ADA has the capability of supporting all of these.
Our entire family will post blogs here about topics that we feel were, are, and will be important to many of us. Many of them will focus on the ADA and how instrumental it was in assisting us. We will tell how barriers faced were resolved, and all the steps, stages, and time frames that it took to reach those goals. Other blogs may be ponderings. Some blog topics will be hosted as Webinars, and a few will be developed into E-Courses.
Blogs on Brill Consulting LLC will also be including posts labeled “Off the Shelf Solutions”, which is devoted to homemade, low-tech solutions created by our family (well, to be honest, my husband, John, and middle daughter, Lauren, really created ALL the inventions!) Be on the lookout for their blog posts and YouTube videos on step by step instruction to make drink holders, pool flotation devices, beach power wheelchairs, hockey sticks for wheelchairs, and many more.
We are excited to begin our journey with all of you to promote full inclusion. Welcome to Brill Consulting LLC!
Shay de Silva says
I’m so excited you decided to start a blog. I look forward to reading all your posts!
Kathy Brill says
Thanks, Shay! Hopefully you will be willing to write a blog eventually from the sibling perspective:)
LeAnne Lorenzo says
Congratulations Kathy on using your experience to help others. I remember those beginning days and helping child care providers see the ways children with different abilities can be included with simple adaptations that every child can use. 30 years later we’re still pushing forward. I can’t believe Alex is 31! You and your family have lived your life to make life better for everyone.
Kathy Brill says
Thanks, LeAnne! You get credit for being one of those forward thinking professionals. We were all lucky to have you, especially in those days when attitudes, opinions and habits form.