September 25, 2019

Senate Passes Duckworth-Durbin Resolution Honoring Life and Achievements of Disability Rights Advocate Marca Bristo


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution yesterday introduced by U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) honoring the life of Marca Bristo and acknowledging her tireless work for the disability community. Bristo reached out to Duckworth a few months after Duckworth returned home from Walter Reed Hospital, and quickly became a friend and counselor to her, especially on disability issues.

“Without Marca’s work over the last 30 years, the Americans with Disabilities Act would not be in existence and I would not be a U.S. Senator. Because she crawled up the steps of the Capitol to pass the ADA, I get to roll through its corridors to cast my votes in the U.S. Senate,” said Duckworth. “Although the fight for access and inclusion continues, the disability community can thank Marca’s leadership, activism and sacrifice for the more inclusive society we live in today. This resolution is important in commemorating her life and her extraordinary achievements, and I’m glad the Senate passed it unanimously today.”

“I was proud to call Marca Bristo a friend and one of my heroes. Marca dedicated her life to securing the rights of Americans with disabilities, and generations ahead will benefit from her efforts,” Durbin said. “Today’s Senate resolution honors Marca’s life and achievements, and I was proud to sponsor it with Senator Duckworth.”

After becoming paralyzed from the chest down at 23, Bristo founded Access Living in Chicago, a nonprofit that promoted independent living for the disabled, in 1980. She then co-founded the National Council on Independent Living in 1983 and played a major role in the drafting of and passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other bills impacting the disability community.

A copy of the resolution is available here.