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.


VELVETA SAYS - Velveta Golightly-Howell is acting regional manager of the Region VIII U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Civil Rights. (We call it OCR for short.) She is actively involved in implementing the Supreme Court's Olmstead decision where the Court ruled that 'placing' people with disabilities in nursing homes and institutions makes a public assumption that they "are incapable or unworthy of participating in community life." The Court called that discrimination.

"The OCR believes in civil rights. The ADA is a civil rights law."

 Velveta Howell

JUDY SAYS - Judith Gran is another Philadelphia attorney who has devoted her working life to freeing people with disabilities from institutions. And she wins.

"The movement to close institutions, to assert the rights of people with disabilities to live in their homes and communities, has been the most successful civil rights movement in our country. This is the cutting edge of civil rights work."

Judith Gran in her library

JOHN SAYS - Professor John McKnight of Northwestern University is famous for his research on poverty where he discovered that, after all the programs our government has designed and implemented, the trouble with poor people is that they still don't have money. In this brief interview, he talks about the disability system and its "consumers."

"The money doesn't go to the people who are pitied. It's a bait and switch tactic. People who are labeled are the bait. The switch is that the money goes to pay professionals."

Professor John McKnight

MAJOR SAYS - Representative Major Owen, one of the sponsors of the ADA, says something you'll want to hear about hostility among the haves for the have-nots.

"What is our greatest enemy? Segregation. Segregation and the attitude that fosters segregation."

 Representative Major Owen

DOHN SAYS - Dohn Hoyle directs the Washtenaw Association for Community Advocacy, formerly an Arc, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He's also been on the team to close every DD institution in the state of Michigan. And the last one will shut down any minute now.

"With guardianship... it's not like you're just a few rights short of full citizenship. Somebody else controls your life, as if you're a child. But they do things with you that we wouldn't do to kids."

Dohn Hoyle, speaking

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