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Interested in disability history? Check out what happened Today in AT History!


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Arts & Entertainment

  • May 23 - Babel premiers at the Cannes Film Festival featuring Rinko Kikuchi who plays Chieko Wataya, a deaf teenage girl. For her part, Kikuchi studied sign language for a year. Her performance won her many awards including Best Breakthrough Actress from the National Board of Review.[1]
  • November 17 - The 3rd Moscow Disability Film Festival: Breaking Down Barriers opens in Moscow, Russia.

Government & Advocacy

  • The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. The Convention was negotiated during eight sessions of an Ad Hoc Committee of the General Assembly from 2002 to 2006, making it the fastest negotiated human rights treaty. According to the Convention, "The Convention marks a "paradigm shift" in attitudes and approaches to persons with disabilities. It takes to a new height the movement from viewing persons with disabilities as "objects" of charity, medical treatment and social protection towards viewing persons with disabilities as "subjects" with rights, who are capable of claiming those rights and making decisions for their lives based on their free and informed consent as well as being active members of society."[2]
  • April 10 - New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) became an official language of New Zealand when the the New Zealand Sign Language Act of 2006 was given the Royal Assent by the Governor-General.[3]


Health & Safety

  • November 6 - The 20th anniversary National Rehabilitation Hospital Gala Victory Awards are held in Washington, DC. Honorees feature Teri Garr, Michael Graves, Monica Greenberg, Geri Jewell, Bob Woodruff, and wounded military veterans.[5]


  • July 12 - Bobby Martin, an American High School Football Player without legs, and Sarah Reinertson, a runner and amputee, won the ESPY Awards for Best Male and Female Athlete with a Disability[7]
  • July 29 - The O&P Extremity Games by College Park premiers in Orlando, Florida with over 500 athletes competing.[8]


  • March 29 - Ossur announced voluntary recall of the Total Knee prosthetic device (models 1100, 1900, 2000 and 2100). Although no injuries had occured, the company found that some units of the Total Knee device contained faulty pins based in the axis of the knee.[10]
  • August 3 - Ossur officially releases the PROPRIO FOOT, the world's first motor-powered and artificially intelligent prosthesis] for transtibial amputees.[11]


  • December 2 - Gilbert C. Eastman - Deaf author, playwright, and leader. Prominent member of the theater and deaf communities.[12]


  1. Shuker, Carl. "A performance beyond words." The Japan Times. June 1, 2006. Accessed on March 10, 2008.
  2. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. United Nations:Enable. Accessed on February 1, 2008.
  3. "New Zealand Sign Language Bill." Office for Disability Issues. Ministry of Social Development. Accessed on March 10, 2008.
  4. Schemo, Diane Jean. "Protests Continue at University for Deaf." The New York Times. The New York Times Company. May 13, 2006. Accessed on March 10, 2008.
  5. "20th Anniversary Victory Awards." National Rehabilitation Hospital. 2008. Accessed on May 29, 2008.
  6. "Rachael's Story." The Official Rachael Scdoris Website. Accessed on March 14, 2008.
  7. "The 2006 Winners." ESPN Internet Ventures. Accessed on March 9, 2008.
  8. "First Extremity Games Was First-Class Success." The O&P Edge. 2006. Accessed on May 22, 2008.
  9. The Scott Rigsby Story The Scott Rigsby Story:Unthinkable. 2007. Accessed on February 5, 2008.
  10. Ossur hf. "Ossur announces voluntary recall of certain models of the Total Knee®." Press Release. March 30, 2006. Accessed on March 9, 2008.
  11. Ossur hf. "PROPRIO FOOT(tm) Stands and Delivers for Amputees." Press Release. August 3, 2006. Accessed on March 8, 2008.
  12. "Anniversaries." The Red Notebook. Friends of Libraries for Deaf Action. Accessed on February 28, 2008.