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First President With Cerebral Palsy?

August 17: Teen Takes Deinstitutionalization Message To Democratic Convention
October 30: Kyle In The News

Teen Takes Deinstitutionalization Message To Democratic Convention
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express

August 17, 2000
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA--It wasn't what one would consider an "I love Al Gore" speech.
In fact, in his address before the Democratic National Convention on the night of Gore's official nomination, 14-year-old Kyle Glozier confronted democrats with what he called an "offense against humanity" -- the injustice of a nation that forces people to continue living in institutions against their will.

The teen, who plans on being the first person with cerebral palsy to be elected to the presidency, used the occasion to call on the Democratic Party to support community alternatives to long-term care institutions.

But the party leadership should not have been expecting a "pep-talk" from the disability rights activist.

According to the grass-roots advocacy group ADAPT, the teenager was invited by the DNC to speak at the convention because of ADAPT's pressure on Gore to listen to the issues facing people with disabilities.

Kyle was the natural choice, said Bob Kafka, an ADAPT organizer from Texas.

"Kyle represents the message of ADAPT, which is to reform the institutional bias in our nation's long term care system. Kyle is a strong and powerful leader who represents the future of the disability rights movement."

Glozier, who uses a power chair and a Liberator speech communication device, told the crowd and the television audience that because of his disabilities he and others like him are at a high risk to be placed in institutions.

"What are the Democrats going to do for my future? What will you do to reform the long term care system? I challenge the Democratic Party to work with people with disabilities, and future leaders like myself to reform the long term care system, pass MiCASSA, Tear down the walls and FREE OUR PEOPLE."

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran this feature about Glozier, who lives just south of Pittsburgh:
The text of Glozier's speech can be found on the Hot News Newsgroup Archive:

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Kyle In The News
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 30, 2000

NEW FREEPORT, PENNSYLVANIA--If he has his way, Kyle Glozier will be the first person with cerebral palsy to be elected President of the United States.

And even though he will not be eligible for several more decades, the 14-year-old may be well on his way to gaining the support of people with disabilities and their allies.

In his short life, Glozier has traveled extensively in the United States, showing up to participate in demonstrations in support of disability rights.

This past spring he testified for preserving the Americans with Disabilities Act opposite screen legend Clint Eastwood -- in a showdown where Glozier slapped away the veteran actor's hand when he tried to reach for the teen's Liberator communication board.

In early September, Glozier latched onto Vice President Al Gore's wrist and wouldn't let go until the presidential candidate listened to a message programmed into the Liberator.

And on August 16, the young activist spoke to the audience, including millions of television viewers, during the Democratic National Convention, about the need for community-based alternatives to nursing homes and other institutions.

Sunday's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette put together this feature on the young disability rights leader and what the future may hold for him:

The Mouth Magazine still has this item on Glozier's May 22 testimony against Clint Eastwood and the ADA Notification Act:

This webpage on the September 4 ADAPT demonstration has several photos of Glozier, including a shot of his "death grip" on Gore's wrist (and a dandy shot of the shiney top of Al Gore's head) as the candidate bends down to hear Kyle's Liberator:

Glozier and ADAPT are advocating for passage of Senate Bill 1935, the Medicaid Community Attendant Services and Supports Act (MiCASSA), which would shift the current bias for federal money from institutions and nursing homes to community supports by allowing recipients to purchase their services.

You can read more about MiCASSA on ADAPT'S website:


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