In 1961, the Minnesota Society for Crippled Children and Adults (now Courage Center) launched a five-year project to achieve accessibility for the handicapped. The Minnesota Architectural Barriers Project studied accessibility barriers across the state, educated builders, architects, building departments, and the general public, produced a film, Sound the Trumpets, and drafted and got passed the first accessibility law in the country. It was signed by Minnesota governor Karl Rolvaag on June 27, 1963. We got it amended and broadened in 1965. The project subsequently resulted in the incorporation of accessibility standards into the new statewide building code in 1966, decades before the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, and led to many other Minnesota statutory provisions protecting the rights of the disabled such as handicapped parking, curb ramping, voting site selection, and equal employment rules.
~Robert W. Schwanke, St. Paul, MN