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.
At NEW MOBILITY, when the shock of 9/11 began to wear off, we realized that many of our own had been trapped in the World Trade Center. Instantly, the need for inclusive evacuation planning came to the forefront. In this section we have reprinted the first of a three-part series by Josie Byzek and Tim Gilmer that focused on this critical need that still exists today. Other important disability topics had a difficult time competing with the growing preoccupation with the nation’s security. Christopher Reeve’s stem cell campaign had to take a back seat, but his personal story remained front and center. Gilmer literally went behind the scenes to interview Reeve in the privacy of his home. Phil Simmons, battling Lou Gehrig’s disease, wrote eloquently about his progressive loss of function and his growing spiritual awareness. And Barry Corbet had the final say in the debate over physician-assisted suicide, retitling it “physician-assisted death” while asking probing questions that the debate had yet to answer. It was a period of reckonings — a time of evaluating critical issues of life, loss, and how best to adapt.