Thanks to the ADA - Ms. Guadalupe's Story

  • July 2, 2020

The ADA protects all Americans, no matter their age.  

Ms. Queen Guadalupe had used her life to help other people, including people with disabilities. When she was 91 years old, Ms. Guadalupe lived in a house on a steep hill. Because she has mobility disabilities and couldn’t move well, her family arranged a van to pick her up and take her to day program.

Occasionally, the vehicle that came to get her was too big to climb the hill to her house. This meant Ms. Guadalupe had to walk down to the vehicle, despite it being unsafe. Unfortunately, on a day when the vehicle couldn’t make it to her door, Ms. Guadalupe fell and injured her head while walking down her hill.   

After the injury, it was time for someone to help Ms. Guadalupe. Her daughter, Roxanne, asked for assistance in convincing the van service that they needed to send a vehicle that could meet Ms. Guadalupe’s needs. Both public and private ground transportation providers must meet ADA requirements related to equipment, accessibility, information and more. Thanks to the ADA’s protections, the transportation service agreed only to send vehicles that could climb Ms. Guadalupe’s hill, to be sure she’d be safe when entering the vehicle.   

The ADA supported Ms. Guadalupe, so that she could get out into the community and enjoy her life. Today, Ms. Guadalupe’s daughter and her family continue to help people do just that. She and her children are proud volunteers with the Special Olympics. As she puts it, “It’s important for all people to be treated with respect.” 


Image description: An older woman walks down a hill with the help of a cane. 

Disability Rights Tennessee (DRT) is a nonprofit legal services organization that provides free legal advocacy services to protect the rights of Tennesseans with disabilities.

Middle Tennessee (Admin Office)

2 International Plaza, Suite 825
Nashville, TN 37217

Phone: 615-298-1080
Fax: 615-298-2046

East Tennessee

9050 Executive Park Drive, Suite 101-B
Knoxville, TN 37923

Phone: 865-670-2944
Fax: 865-470-7028

West Tennessee

1407 Union Avenue, Suite 1015
Memphis, TN 38104

Phone: 901-458-6013
Fax: 901-249-2933