Keywords: Social movements, identity, American with Disability, Deaf culture,

instrumental and consummatory rhetoric

In May 1995, actor Christopher Reeves, perhaps best known for his portrayal of

Superman, was thrown from his horse during an equestrian competition and was left

paralyzed from the shoulder down. Reeves, realizing an opportunity, readily accepted the

position of advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities. In his numerous public

appearances he honored the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and proclaimed his

determination to advocate greater funding for research to bring about a cure for spinal

cord injuries. “I am going to get out of this chair, throw it away and walk,” he told Larry

King in an hour-long interview on CNN February 22, 1996. “We are on the threshold of a

cure-maybe in 5, 7, 8, 10 years.”