Monday, October 26, 2009

Americans with Disabilities Act - Richard Pimentel

Have you ever heard the name Richard Pimentel? I hadn't until I watched a movie called "Music Within" last week. It's an amazing and true story of a man who almost single-handedly pushed for the creation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. As a young man, Pimentel wanted to make something of himself despite a horrific childhood. He had a gift for public speaking and debate, but ended up in VietNam and came back with tinnitus so bad (from an explosion) that he couldn't hear.He found it almost impossible to go to school or find a job. He met a man, Art Honeyman, with severe cerebral palsy who was smart and making his way through a world that treated him cruely because of his disability. There's a scene in the movie where they ask them to leave a restaurant because Art was disgusting to the other customers. They refused to leave and were arrested under the "Ugly Law, a statute that prohibited public appearances of people who were unsightly. I looked at my husband and said - that was only 30 years ago, but then the movie reminded me that the ADA was not signed into law until 1990! Before that time people with disabilities could be asked to leave public places or not even have a way into them, they could be denied jobs, be discriminated against in any way! Unbelievable isn't it?
Richard Pimentel wrote "Tilting at Windmills" a disability training program designed for managers and supervisors to work with people with disabilities in 1981.
"Music Within" is a good movie and a great story of one man's success and ability to make a positive change in the world.

11 comments:

Moohaa said...

Sounds like a movie I'll have to check out. Thanks for the review!

74WIXYgrad said...

Does sound like a very interesting movie.

Very recently, my son was let go from a restaurant because they were unwilling to work with him even though they knew of his condition. They said that he was given ample time, 3 days, to pick up the pace and get his work done. I don't feel that he was given a fair chance.

Billy said...

Thanks for the heads-up on the movie. And I had no idea of conditions all the way through 1999. Unbelievable. Great post as always.

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Anonymous said...

Is the movie
Americans with Disabilities Act - by Richard Pimentel CLOSED CAPTIONED? That would be something great to see in your review, since many of the people interested in this topic may not hear, CLOSED CAPTIONS are crucial to being able to enjoy the movie...or not. And that unfortunately is still the issue, even in 2010.