Women September 29, 2019 at 02:00 pm

6 renowned black women in history who made a big impact despite their disabilities

Theodora Aidoo | Staff Writer

Theodora Aidoo September 29, 2019 at 02:00 pm

September 29, 2019 at 02:00 pm | Women

Joyce Ardell Jackson. Pic Credit:berkeleyside.com

Joyce Jackson

Joyce Jackson was born on July 2, 1947, in Berkeley California and she was known for fighting for disability rights. According to the CEO of Ramp Your Voice, Vilissa Thompson, those who knew Joyce as a child, described her as spirited and adventurous.

She became disabled at the age of 12 years. She was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. According to the Mayo Clinic, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is the most common type of arthritis found in children 17 years old and younger. 

This form of arthritis can create persistent joint pain, swelling, and stiffness symptoms. Those with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis may have symptoms for only a few months while others will have them for the rest of their lives. 

Joyce’ experience with arthritis was lifelong. She endured over 50 surgeries in her lifetime. Despite her disability, in April 1977, she took part in a disability rights sit-in that lasted nearly a month.

The sit-in resulted in “the landmark civil rights legislation prohibiting federally funded agencies, programs, and activities from discriminating against the disabled.”

Joyce would serve three terms on the national board of the American Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities while travelling around the country to talk about the new law. She continued working as a disability counsellor for nonprofits until she retired and died on December 29, 2013.


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