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"To boldly go where everyone else has gone before": the road to ADAPT




Petrie, Gentrice, author
Orsi, Jared, advisor
Carr Childers, Leisl, committee member
Hepburn, Susan, committee member

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During the 1970s, residents of the newly established Atlantis independent living center used civil disobedience tactics to sway the city to provide accessible transportation services. Their strategies worked, and by 1983, Denver had one of the most accessible public transportation systems in the country. After their success, members of Atlantis decided to expand their cause by founding the activist organization American Disabled for Accessible Public Transportation, now American Disabled for Attendant Programs Today (ADAPT), which not only gave disability activists a national platform to draw attention to the issue of inaccessible transportation, but also gave them the opportunity to integrate disabled individuals into a world that denied them access to mainstream services. This story not only illuminates the success that direct action protest had on influencing public policy on a local scale but highlights how this activism empowered activists and members of the disability community by occupying public spaces, therefore challenging the idea that disabled people are unable to advocate on their own behalf and live independently.


Rights Access


American Disabled for Accessible Public Transportation
Blank, Wade
American Disabled for Attendant Programs Today
independent living


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