Lennard Davis: Enabling Acts and Hidden Tales

978-080707156-4Lennard J. Davis is a Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences and teaches in the English Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he had also served as the department’s Head.  In addition, he is a Professor of Disability and Human Development in the School of Applied Health Sciences of the University of Illinois at Chicago, as well as a Professor of Medical Education in the College of Medicine.  He is also the director of Project Biocultures, a think-tank devoted to issues around the intersection of culture, medicine, disability, biotechnology and the biosphere.

His latest book, Enabling Acts: The Hidden Story of How the Americans with Disabilities Act Gave the Largest US Minority Its Rights investigates the history of the Americans with Disabilities Act. While most of us may be more familiar with the activist and grassroots movement (if at all), this book looks at the hidden stories of unexpected connections that made this legislation happen.

lennarddavis_laugh-300x277We met up on Skype to talk about some of these hidden stories (including Berkeley hippie activists couch-surfing Ralph Nader’s campaign office in Dupont Circle), and the unfortunate reality of the value of similar legislation in our current political climate. This interview was featured on my new show, Intersections Radio, on KBOO! This episode was a continuation of the #ADA25 celebrations!

Lennard Davis shared so many great stories in our interview! I could only fit a couple for the actual broadcast, so check out the extended version below!

Air date: 8/3/2015

Broadcast version:

Extended web special:

You can also listen to the full broadcast and read the transcript!