Professor Paul K. Longmore Inspired Alice Wong to Fight for Disability Rights, Inclusion

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

HUFFINGTON POST -- It wasn’t until her early 20s that Wong became, in her words, “more politicized.” She studied English and sociology at Indiana University, where a professor introduced her to a renowned disabled historian and activist named Paul K. Longmore. The historic Americans With Disabilities Act had passed just a few years earlier, banning discrimination against disabled people and leading to greater disability inclusion nationwide. Wong started reading works by disabled scholars and learning disability history, such as the independent living movement in Berkeley, California.

“I realized that it’s not just about me and making my life better, but it’s about how we change things systemically,” Wong said.

Longmore, who back then worked at San Francisco State University, gave Wong the encouragement she needed to move out to the West Coast to pursue a master’s degree in medical sociology.