Who would have thought that today, as we approach the 25th anniversary of the ADA, a quadriplegic high school teacher would have to fight her own government in order to keep teaching?
One of my first wheeler role models was Jill Kinmont Boothe, the Olympic skier who became a C5 quad from a skiing accident at the age of 18. She went on to graduate from UCLA in the early 1960s and was denied admittance to the university’s School of Education because of her disability. But she persevered, eventually started her teaching career in the state of Washington and later taught in Bishop, Calif., where she made a difference in the lives of thousands. Her story was made into a movie, The Other Side of the Mountain, in 1975. She died in 2012 at the age of 75.
Now comes Jenny Weast, a teacher from Roseville, Calif., who also became a quad after a skiing accident. Weast, like many of us who have either taught or are still teaching from wheelchairs, has benefited greatly from Kinmont Boothe’s trailblazing. But today