Christine Dahlberg - ADA Interview
"Advocating for disability issues is a broad topic. And when you advocate, you don’t advocate for people with a particular disability, your advocacy affects everyone with a disability,” Christine Dahlberg remarked in 2009. Then Deputy Director of the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities, she had been around since efforts became active in Indiana towards passage of the Americans with Disabilities legislation in the 1980s. She got started working with the ADA through her boss Suellen Jackson-Boner, whom she met when they were day care advocates together. Christine had frequently advocated for children with disabilities, and when Suellen had an opening on the Governor’s Council, Christine seemed like a natural fit. “I quickly became very excited about the issues around disability,” she recalls. “It's just really been an exciting time of my life being involved with the council and people with disabilities and their families.” Christine later became director of the council upon Suellen’s retirement.
Christine worked with Jay Steinhardt of Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services to help develop and send out information about the ADA. She discusses national advocate Justin Dart Jr., and the work of then council chairperson Costa Miller in bringing Dart to Indiana for rallies in support of the legislation. “And then when the work began on trying to rally the disability community in Indiana in order to get the legislation actually passed and making sure that no weakening amendments happened -- I mean, there were a million of them introduced.” She discusses the infusion of federal funding after the law’s passage to train people with disabilities on their rights. The funding was utilized in Indiana via training from the Disability Rights Education Foundation. Christine was looking forward to the future of the ADA. “…I'm hoping we'll have some real impact on the state as we get near the 20th anniversary of the ADA, really make another push to really get some people educated and get some stuff done.”
Share on Facebook | Share on Twitter