July 16, 2020

Duckworth Tours Historic Alton National Cemetery, Discusses Accessibility with Officials


[ALTON, IL] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today met with local advocates and officials to discuss ongoing accessibility issues at the Alton National Cemetery, including the construction of an accessible ramp. Duckworth met with representatives from the Center for Independent Living, the Gateway Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. Duckworth also toured Alton National Cemetery, which is located inside the historic Alton City Cemetery and has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 2011. The City Cemetery is the place of rest for troops dating back to the Civil War and Elijah P. Lovejoy, an abolitionist and journalist. Photos from today’s tour are available here.

“Veterans with disabilities should be able to navigate Alton National Cemetery and attend events that honor their service,” Duckworth said. “People who fought to make our union more perfect were laid to rest there, so it’s up to us to work together to make sure this historic cemetery becomes accessible for all.”

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 Senate colleagues to block a House 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.