December 06, 2018

Duckworth Awarded U.S. International Council on Disabilities’ Dole-Harkin Award for Her Leadership in Advancing Disability Rights


[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) was awarded with the United States International Council on Disabilities’s (USICD) Dole-Harkin award this evening in recognition of her efforts to promote and expand rights for people with disabilities. The Dole-Harkin award honors American policymakers for their service to the global disability community in advancing the rights, opportunities and dignity or persons with disabilities, and previous recipients include Senators John Barasso (R-WY), Al Franken (D-MN), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Tom Harkin (D-IA), and Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA-5).  A photo of the award ceremony, where Duckworth also delivered a keynote address can be found here

“As grateful as I am to receive this award, I’m even more honored to share the distinction with a man I’ve deeply admired for decades: the late Senator John McCain.” Duckworth said. “I’m endlessly grateful that the disability community welcomed me so fully, giving me new purpose and a new mission right when I needed it most. I am honored and humbled to receive the Dole-Harkin award, and I look forward to working and fighting alongside some of the strongest, smartest, most resilient advocates and people I have ever met.”

Senator Duckworth is a champion for the rights for people with disabilities. Earlier this year she led efforts to protect the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) from Republican-led legislation, the ADA Education and Reform Act, that would reward businesses for failing to make their facilities accessible for people with disabilities. In March, Duckworth secured the opposition of 42 of her Senate colleagues, blocking the bill from passing in the U.S. Senate. This legislation would have eliminated incentives for businesses of any size to ensure their facilities are in compliance with the ADA.

The United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD) is a federation of US-based non-governmental organizations, federal agencies and individuals committed to advocacy and action on behalf of the global disability rights agenda. Through its vast network of disability organizations and other NGO stakeholders, government members and individual advocates, USICD has the advocacy reach to impact critical emerging issues both in the United States and internationally. USICD’s Board of Directors includes some of the most recognized leaders in the American disability rights movement, providing a wealth of experience and strategic guidance to USICD’s mission and sharing a vision for the full inclusion, access, and human rights of people with disabilities worldwide. The Dole-Harkin Award was also awarded to Senator John McCain (R-AZ) posthumously.