July 26, 2017

Duckworth Discusses Importance of Disability Rights Protections on ADA Anniversary


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) joined U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) at a rally today on the 27th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to address the critical importance of strengthening rather than chipping away at disability rights protections. Duckworth discussed how ADA protections have drastically improved the lives of millions of Americans - including our nation's Veterans - highlighting her own experience as a Veteran wounded in combat. Following the vote by Senate Republicans to proceed with debate on Trumpcare, Duckworth also stressed how Republican efforts to cut funding for vital healthcare programs would put the health of millions of Americans with disabilities in jeopardy. A photo of the rally is available here and video of Duckworth's remarks is available here.

"ADA protections have made my life possible, and if it were not for those disability rights activists who left their wheelchairs and crawled up the Capitol steps more than a quarter of a century ago to fight for the ADA, I wouldn't be where I am today," said Duckworth. "Yesterday, after Senate Republicans voted to move towards a healthcare system that would make it harder for Americans with disabilities to access the care they need, I climbed out of my wheelchair and pulled myself up the same Capitol steps to fight for access to quality, affordable health care. For many, the fate of the Senate healthcare bill is a matter of life and death, and I won't give up until every American has access to the care they need and deserve."

Senator Duckworth has been a vocal advocate for disability rights. Last month, she helped introduce the Air Carrier Access Amendments Act to help improve protections for airplane passengers with disabilities, making air travel more equitable and accessible for all Americans. She has been outspoken against President Trump's proposed cuts to vital healthcare programs, noting how such cuts would be devastating for the health and wellbeing of millions of disabled Americans. Duckworth also cosponsors the Disability Integration Act, which would ensure that Americans with disabilities are given the option to live independent lives and access care in their community rather than being forced into institutional care.