March 09, 2020

Duckworth Celebrates 30th Anniversary of the Lake County Center for Independent Living, Highlighting Advancements in Disability Rights and Work Yet to Be Done


[KILDEER, IL] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) tonight delivered the keynote address at the Lake County Center for Independent Living’s (LCCIL) 30th Anniversary. Duckworth reflected on the advancements in disability rights in the three decades since LCCIL’s founding and passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), spoke about the work she’s continuing to support on the federal level to expand the rights for people with disabilities and outlined her goals for the disability community in the next 30 years. Photos of tonight’s event are available here.

“Our community is 60 million strong—a number that will only grow as more and more baby boomers become mobility-impaired,” Duckworth said. “We shouldn’t still face a reality where some Americans can’t work, or get to work. Can’t go to school or to the grocery store. Let’s take today to celebrate how far our movement has come over the past 30 years, then tomorrow, let’s get right back to working on making the next 30 even more accessible for all Americans. Because while we’ve come a long way since the ink dried on the ADA, everyone here today knows how far we still have to go.”

Since she was first elected to Congress, Duckworth has been a fierce advocate for disability rights. She led efforts to protect the ADA last Congress, gathering enough support from her colleagues to block a bill that would have gutted enforcement of the landmark civil rights legislation and rewarded businesses that have failed to make their facilities accessible to people with disabilities. Duckworth also passed legislation to require airlines to disclose the number of lost bags and broken wheelchairs to ensure travelers are treated with dignity.

Last year, Duckworth introduced legislation to make it easier for small businesses to become accessible for people with disabilities and help those businesses comply with ADA. She also led her colleagues in asking the Trump Administration for information regarding its failure to hire and retain employees with targeted disabilities. In response to Trump administration’s refusal to address racial discrimination in special education, Duckworth joined her colleagues in demanding answers from Secretary DeVos for failing to comply with court order and address the issue. She also helped introduce legislation to make fitness facilities across the country more accessible for those with disabilities.