Marca Bristo, Leading Advocate for Disability Rights & Founder of Access Living, Dies at 66

Submitted by anoopa on Mon, 09/16/2019 - 11:18

Longtime disability rights advocate and founder of Access Living, a Chicago-based service and advocacy organization, Marca Bristo, died at 66 on Sunday, September 8, 2019.

During her illustrious career, Bristo co-founded the National Council on Independent Living, helped write the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), served as the chair of the American National Council on Disability from 1994 to 2002, and in 2014 became the president of the United States International Council on Disability. 

Bristo's life and legacy inspired so many who continue to advocate for disability rights in the United States and in the world. 

Make no mistake about it: There is an active effort on the part of people who would like to see our movements fail and us to go back home, or back into institutions, or wherever we came from. Another country? They see our forward progress as a threat. And we cannot let them win."

- Marca Bristo, at the July 2019 National Council on Independent Living Awards Luncheon