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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

It’s Our Story Seeks Living Legends of “Diversability”

The It’s Our Story (IOS) project is collecting over 300 video histories of “Diversability” from 14 states and 33 cities in and around America’s “Tornado Alley” during the fall of 2017. These events are part of the ongoing work on the “It’s Our Story” video project.

IOS is documenting personal stories of living with a ”Diversability” and/or advocating for justice, social inclusion, employment and independent living in and around the Great Plains of America. The goal is to document 2,020 local stories of individuals advocating and living with a ”Diversability” in all 50 states by July 26, 2020, which marks the 15th anniversary of our first video history, which featured the late and great Fred Fay and Elmer Bartels in Concord, MA. 

Here are two links to what a video history will look like multiplied by 2,020:

Since 2005, IOS has crossed the nation a total of nine times, paying several visits to more than 45 states to document over 1,400 video histories of the American “Diversability” experience.

What Living Legends of “Diversability” need to be invited?

If you know one, please send me their name, email, and telephone number to IOS will invite them to the host site that is closest to their home. Here’s a link to the first 30 interviews during the summer of 2005.

Who should be remembered?

IOS is collecting stories of people who deserve to be remembered for their contributions in making the lives of people with “Diversabilities” better in America. Here’s a link to your state’s “ADA Diaries” (a.k.a. “Discrimination Diaries”) collected by Justin Dart and representing people who advocated for the passage of the ADA in 1990. IOS hopes these testimonies will assist your memory and locate anyone who is still alive and thriving to share their legacy of “Diversability” in America.

Please call Scott Cooper at 202-340-2575 for any questions you may have. He looks forward to speaking to you about who should be included, and memories of people and events that should not be forgotten.

It’s Our Story

2017 Great Plains Roundabout

August 22 – December 22, 2017

States: Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico.

Cities: Pocatello, Bozeman, Minot, Bismarck, Fargo, Sauk Rapids, Rochester, Des Moines, Omaha, Gering, Sioux Falls, Pierre, Rapid City, Lander, Cheyenne, Fort Collins, Boulder, Denver, Colorado Springs, Wichita, Topeka, Kansas City, Jefferson City, St. Louis, Kermit, Pine Bluff, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Norman, Amarillo, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Roswell



  • 22-23: Pocatello, ID
  • 30-1: Bozeman, MT


  • 7-8: Minot, ND
  • 11-12: Bismarck, ND
  • 14-15: Fargo, ND
  • 18-19: Sauk Rapids, MN
  • 20-22: Rochester, MN
  • 25-26: Des Moines, IA
  • 27: Senator Thomas Harkin
  • 28-29: Omaha, NE


  • 2-3: Sioux Falls, SD
  • 5-6: Pierre, SD
  • 9-10: Rapid City, SD
  • 11-13: Cheyenne, WY
  • 16-17: Lander, WY
  • 18-20: Fort Collins, CO
  • 23-24: Boulder, CO
  • 25-27: Denver, CO
  • 30-1: Colorado Springs, CO


  • 2-3: Wichita, KS
  • 6-7: Topeka, KS
  • 9-10: Kansas City, MO
  • 13-14: Jefferson City, MO
  • 15-17: St. Louis, MO
  • 20-21: Kermit, MO
  • 27-28: Pine Bluff, AR
  • 30-1: Tulsa, OK


  • 4-6: Oklahoma City, OK
  • 7-8: Norman, OK
  • 11-12: Amarillo, TX
  • 13-15: Santa Fe, NM
  • 18-20: Albuquerque, NM
  • 21-22: Roswell, NM


  1. please send me any information on this for I am truly interested , any news letters please mail them to Helen Murphy 135 W 23 st ny 10011 Apt 802

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