July 25, 2018

On Eve of the ADA’s 28th Anniversary, Duckworth Highlights Need to Protect and Expand Disability Rights


[WASHINGTON, DC] — Today at the Beyond the ADA: Introducing the Disability Justice Initiative event hosted by the Center for American Progress (CAP), U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) spoke about her efforts to protect the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the importance of expanding disability rights to better ensure access and equality for Americans with disabilities. Earlier this year, Duckworth led the push to block the misleadingly-named ADA Education and Reform Act, a Republican-led bill that would reward businesses for failing to make their facilities accessible to people with disabilities and roll back decades of progress for the disabled community, by securing the opposition of 42 of her Senate colleagues, which is enough to block it from being passed in that chamber. Full video of her remarks are available here and photos of the Senator at this morning’s event are available here.

“When funding for hunger programs is slashed, members of the disability community go hungry first. When health care coverage is taken away, members of the disability community suffer first. With Congressional Republicans and the Trump Administration’s continued efforts to chip away at the ADA and curtail disability rights, it’s as critical as ever for members of Congress to listen to the disabled community as they advocate for and against legislation impacting their lives.”

When Congressional Republicans repeatedly attempted to take away healthcare from millions of Americans last year, Duckworth took to the Senate floor to tell the story of a disabled woman from Illinois and detail the harm these bills would have on Americans with disabilities. She has also introduced the Air Carrier Access Amendments Act (ACAA) to protect air travelers from discrimination and is a co-sponsor of U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) Disability Integration Act, which would help ensure Americans with disabilities are given the option to live independent lives and access care in their communities rather than being forced into institutional care.

CAP’s Disability Justice Initiative is focused on expanding opportunity for people with disabilities and building an inclusive policy agenda that does not leave behind the 1 in 5 Americans with disabilities, including and especially multiply-marginalized voices such as people of color with disabilities.