Journey of Hope Marks 20 Years

By: Jon Kalahar Email
By: Jon Kalahar Email

Biking from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., the Journey of Hope is raising money and awareness for Americans with disabilities.

They cruised into Jackson, Miss., in time to receive a proclamation from the mayor's office and enjoy a cookout at Life of Mississippi, a group that helps make life easier for the disabled.

"We need to preach the abilities of people with disabilities rather than other things, because so many times their abilities are over looked," said rider,
Joey Bryce.

Christine Woodell has lived with a disability since she was four years old due to polio. She says even with the Americans with Disability Act there are still many prejudices against the disabled.

"There are still people who give my change to my companion, who will address, who won't address me directly," said Woodell, an ADA trainer.

And there are even businesses that still aren't wheelchair-accessible.
Even though the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed 17 years ago, those with disabilities still have issues across this country, but the number one issue is changing people's attitudes.

Christy Dunaway is the executive director of Life of Mississippi.

"When all people in this country realize that the disabled are a viable and vital part of the community then we will have come as far as we need to," Dunaway said/

But until then, these students biking their way to Washington, D.C., and disabled Americans are one in the same.

This is the twentieth anniversary of the "Journey of Hope". It's expected to raise $500,000 for organizations that help disabled Americans. The journey encompasses four thousand miles and takes 64 days.


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