March 11, 2020

Duckworth Honored with American Association of People with Disabilities’ ADA Legacy Award


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) last night received the American Association of People with Disabilities’ (AAPD) ADA Legacy Award at AAPD’s annual leadership award gala, recognizing her work advocating for disability rights. Duckworth reflected on the advancements in disability rights since passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 30 years ago, spoke about the work she’s continuing to do on the federal level to expand the rights for people with disabilities and outlined her goals for the disability community in the future. Photos of yesterday’s event are available here.

“I want to congratulate AAPD for 25 incredible years of working on the issues that matter most – from education to healthcare, voting to housing, you’ve refused to let Americans with disabilities be pushed to the margins,” Duckworth said. “While we’ve come a long way since the ink dried on the ADA 30 years ago, everyone here knows how far we still have to go over the next 30 to make this country actually truly accessible.

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.

AAPD is the nation’s largest disability rights organization, which focuses on improving the education for the disability community in order to increase economic self-sufficiency, independent living and equal opportunity.