For the next several months, NEW MOBILITY will be celebrating 25 years of journalism by and for active wheelchair users. Join us for a look back at each period of the magazine’s history, starting with our first issues circa the passage of the ADA. Each month we’ll move down the timeline, sharing key moments in disability rights and lifestyle from almost 250 issues of NM.
1997-2000: Our Bodies, Ourselves
Perhaps there was something about the closing of a millennium that led us to reflect on ourselves and our place in culture. Whatever it was, 1997-2000 was a time of focusing on issues that affected us deeply. NM began publishing an annual women’s issue in 1997 — powerful voices speaking not only from unique perspectives but also from a shared sisterhood. Acclaimed essayist Nancy Mairs reflects on body image from the viewpoint of a woman coping with advancing MS. Harriet McBryde Johnson captures how her appeal as an attorney is inextricably bonded to her lifelong disability in the eyes of a curious jury. And Gretchen Schaper (now Ryan) fearlessly leaves her wheelchair and crawls on campus, exposing not only her bodily weakness, but her invincible character. Our vulnerability came into uncomfortable focus with another issue — assisted suicide. Richard Holicky touches all the bases in his “My Dinner with Death.” And Jean Dobbs sheds light on what humbled and motivated one of our most beloved activists, Justin Dart.