Bonnie Barrera

As Interviewed by Alli Ekrot, March 17, 2018

Bonnie Barrera: In Her Own Words

It [disability rights] has changed so much for the better. ‘Cause now, there’s handicapped parking, there is so many more rights that the disabled have that they did not have when he [her son] was born. I can give you one example; I had to go to the courthouse when he was young in a wheelchair. We could not go in the courthouse, ‘cause it was all steps. And I stood there; looking at the steps, with my son in our wheelchair, and thinking: “I can’t go in that building!” And so now I know, that that doesn’t happen anymore.

They used to put all children born with disabilities in an institution. That was the normal thing to do. You just put ‘em away! I think i might have been one of the first people, for the level of severity that his disability was, I chose to keep him at home. Because, most of the medical professionals assumed I was gonna put him in an institution back then, and I didn’t. There was no way, I would’ve given up my child to a home.

I would ask people to please keep an open mind about people with disabilities and help them. You just kinda have to understand that they don’t have control over what’s happening to them, so you just have to make the best of it. Do the best that you can!