Marca Bristo, a trailblazer in the disability community who was born in New York State, passed away this week in Chicago. Ms. Bristo helped co-write the Americans with Disabilities Act which was signed into law in 1990 and helped to pass the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which was passed in the United Nations in 2006. Ms. Bristo, disabled as the result of an accident in 1977, was respected by everyone who knew her. The extent of Marca Bristo’s influence was incredible. She fought hard not only for disability rights, but disability justice as well. She helped found the National Council of Independent Living in 1982.
We have lost quite a few great influencers in the disability community this year; however, Ms. Bristo was a catalyst and the disability community will miss her tremendously. We hope that Ms. Bristo’s legacy will influence the future of disability activism and even greater strides will be made. The Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities that Ms. Bristo helped write for the United Nations is still not ratified by the United States, so maybe future disability leaders can influence the US to finally ratify the treaty in the United Nations.
Marca Bristo was well respected and influenced many key people in the world. She won many awards and honors in her lifetime. Ms. Bristo lived her life to the fullest with as many connections as she could make and did as much as she could to move the world forward. In every lifetime, there is just so much an individual can do, which leaves room for the next generation to continue the good work.
Rest in Power, Marca Bristo.