Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Disability rights group, ADAPT, celebrates its 25th anniversary May 1

The disability rights group, ADAPT, will celebrate its 25th year of social change through direct action with a series of events in Washington, D.C., the week of April 27.

On April 27, it will host a Fun Run for Disability Rights and from April 28-30 it will sponsor grassroots actions, and on May 1 it will have its 25th Anniversary Dinner, Exhibition and Show. ADAPT expects more than 1000 people with disabilities and supporters from all over the country to participate in the events to commemorate ADAPT's beginnings in 1983.

The events will celebrate the growth and progress of the disability rights movement during the past 25 years and set the stage for continuing activism in the years to come, according to ADAPT.

Begun by Rev. Wade Blank and Mike Auberger, co-directors of the Atlantis Community, a Denver Center for Independent Living, the two men decided to take their local disability rights activism in Denver to a national level.

In a protest organized by nationally renowned organizer, Shel Trapp, about two dozen people with disabilities showed up for a protest to make Denver's mainline buses accessible. From that protest, grew many other actions and drew more people to the cause, which lead to the formation of ADAPT, then known as Americans Disabled for Accessible Public Transit.

ADAPT's grew into a national grassroots activist movement that has become the backbone of the disability rights movement. ADAPT has been memorialized in photos by Tom Olin taken at ADAPT actions over the years. Olin's photos of ADAPT have appeared in the Smithsonian and are part of the National Civil Rights Museum.

For more information about the celebration or ADAPT, contact Bob Kafka (512) 431-4085 or Marsha Katz at (406) 544-9504 or visit one of these Web sites,, or