graphic of Who Says


SAYS are Mouth's interviews with leaders and front-line advocates in the disability rights movement who say what they think, right out loud. We print them here in full. They're listed in no particular order. Click on the name of the someone you want to hear from. We guarantee they'll have something to say that's worth a listen.

Kenneth SAYS - When he was a small child, the state of Oregon sent Kenneth Newman to hell, for life. No one called his name. No one came to save him. In that lonely place beyond the gates of hell, he had to save himself.

"They gave a darn good friend of mine shock treatment. They gave him so much shock treatment that it fried his brain."



Dee SAYS - Dee Lesneski, the "Flagpole Lady" took on the school district of Washington County, Pennsylvania. Despite many court orders her son's school had refused to provided the services of a sign language interpreter or allow her son Max control of his own asthma medications. The result, a life-threatening asthma attack which no present school employee was intelligent enough to recognize. Dee chained herself to the flagpole in the school's parking lot until the school reluctantly agreed to abide by the court orders.

"Thank God I didn't tie myself to the dumpster. They could have arrested me. I would have been trespassing. The flagpole made it freedom of speech."

Dee Lesneski at the Flagpole

Marca SAYS - Marca Bristo is director of the Access Living independent living center in Chicago and chair of the National Council on Disability. That Council, under her leadership, released a report in July, 2000, on the enforcement of disability rights laws.

"If there's no consequence for violating the law, people will go on violating it."


Marka Bristo at a microphone

STEVE SAYS - Steve Gold is an attorney who knows the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) inside and out, and uses it, brilliantly.

"Just starting right at the top [in the findings of the ADA] Congress says, 'Historically, society has tended to isolate and segregate individuals with disabilities, and despite some improvements, such forms of discrimination against individuals with disabilities continue to be a serious and pervasive social problem.' Those findings should be used as a trumpet, a clarion."

Steve Gold at a microphone

MO SAYS - Mike Oxford is director of TILRC, the Topeka Independent Living Resource Center, and VP of the National Council on Independent Living, and a national organizer with Adapt as well. We interviewed him right after he got a big national award from the Health Care Financing Administration when last time we saw him at HCFA, he was part of the Adapt action that shut them down. What happened?

"We did what we promised. We freed our people."

Mike Oxford speaks