Senator Tom Harkin

ADA30 Lead On: Celebration of Disability Arts, Culture, Education & Pride

As the nation ramps up to the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA30) on July 26, 2020, the 50-member ADA Lead On “Core Production Team” (in front of and behind the camera/keyboard) and 22 ADA Generation bloggers, influencers and signal boosters are focused and determined to set the record straight, flip ... Read more

Justin Dart Remembered — Humanitarian, Leader and Friend

Editor’s note: In recognition of a great humanitarian, leader and friend, we present “The Resurrection of Justin Dart Jr. : A Quest for Truth and Love,” which was written by Mari Carlin Dart and originally appeared in the Diahann Carroll issue of ABILITY Magazine. Also included are additional comments from Dr. Fred Fay and ... Read more

Senator Duckworth Receives Paralyzed Veterans of America’s Gordon H. Mansfield Congressional Leadership Award

Paralyzed Veterans of America recently announced it will honor Democratic U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois with the 2019 Gordon H. Mansfield Congressional Leadership Award during the organization’s Annual PVA Gala. From critical efforts on the Americans with Disabilities Act, to improving the air travel experience for passengers with disabilities, Senator Duckworth has been ... Read more

Harkin Summit – Boost Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities

For decades, former Senator Tom Harkin has actively championed the rights of people with disabilities. First serving in the US House of Representatives and later in the Senate from 1985 to 2015, the Iowa native helped craft and introduce the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1988. Although ostensibly retired, he remains active in ... Read more

Freedom to Choose

FULFILLING THE PROMISE OF COMMUNITY LIVING Dear ABILITY readers, At a recent roundtable of the Senate HELP Committee, Emmanuel Smith described the challenges he faced growing up in Iowa with brittle bone disease. All his life, he feared that if he were to incur an injury, it would limit his independence and force him ... Read more

Possibilities of ADA — Harkin

Dear ABILITY readers, Thanks to the progress we’ve made since passing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) more than 20 years ago, millions of people have grown up proud of who they are, confident that the doors of opportunity are open to them. This landmark legislation was a major victory for equality, and helped ... Read more

Janet LaBreck — Interview with Lia Martirosyan and Chet Cooper

As commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration, Janet LaBreck oversees programs that help people with disabilities find employment and live more independently. Prior to that role within the US Department of Education, she headed up the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, which served more than 30,000 people. ABILITY’s Chet Cooper and Lia Martirosyan were ... Read more

Senator Tom Harkin – ADA author and ABILITY Magazine columnist

After 40 years in Congress, ABILITY columnist Senator Thomas Harkin retires in 2015. During the decade he spent in the House of Representatives, and 30 years in the US Senate, he’s unparalleled in the attention he’s brought to disability related issues, and the legislation he’s helped get passed to make America accessible to all. ... Read more

The Reality of Restraints

Dear ABILITY readers, At a recent event in Washington, Robert Ernst described how as a first grader, he was dragged down the hallway of his school by his wrists and thrown into isolation by school officials. He remained unattended in a dark, small room for up to 30 minutes at a time because he ... Read more

Make a Commitment

Dear ABILITY readers, At the beginning of every new year, millions of Americans make resolutions to live better. They plan to eat healthier, lose weight, quit smoking and/or step up their volunteer work. As we begin 2014, I propose that we make an additional, collective resolution: to renew our commitment to creating employment opportunities ... Read more

The ADA Generation

Dear ABILITY readers, Many of the stories in this magazine are a testament to the progress our nation has made since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Yet for numerous Americans who came of age since the law was enacted in 1990, one stubborn challenge remains before we can achieve full ... Read more

Implementing the Final Rule

Dear ABILITY readers, In the 23 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law, we have seen significant progress in increasing the accessibility of the built environment in the United States, as well as in improving access in our telecommunications, technology and transportation infrastructures. More importantly, the ADA has given ... Read more

Trying to Make it Work

Dear ABILITY readers, Now into the 23rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it’s important that we take stock of the progress we’ve made in fulfilling its promise. While we’ve come a long way in our efforts to integrate people with disabilities into mainstream society, we’ve yet to make adequate progress in ... Read more

The Deaf President Movement

Dear ABILITY readers, Twenty-five years ago, Gallaudet University, the premier institution of higher education for deaf Americans, passed over two qualified deaf candidates to appoint a hearing person as the school’s new president. The students at the Washington, DC based institution were driven to act. They marched, called on Congress, and protested not only ... Read more

Harkin Statement on 23rd Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, released the following statement on the 23rd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Harkin was the Senate sponsor of the ADA and delivered the first-ever Senate floor speech in American Sign Language upon Senate passage ... Read more

Harkin — The Benefits of Health Care

THE HEALTH REFORM LAW: MAJOR PROGRESS FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES Dear ABILITY Readers, The new health reform law, signed by President Obama last month, includes provisions that offer important new protections and choices for individuals with disabilities. These provisions—for which I fought very hard— include, for example, prohibitions on denying insurance coverage based on ... Read more

Celebrating the ADA — Reflections From Tom Harkin

As we all know, this year marks the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As chief sponsor of the ADA in the Senate, I will always remember the day it was signed into law—July 26, 1990—as one of the proudest in my legislative career. We have come a long way in ... Read more

Harkin Voices Support for Ratification of UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and author of the Americans with Disabilities Act, testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in support of ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Sen. Harkin: “Good Morning.  I would like to thank ... Read more

Where Are the Jobs?

Dear ABILITY readers, Recently, I gave the keynote address at the US Chamber of Commerce’s Corporate Disability Employment Summit in Washington, DC. During my talk, I sounded the alarm on a disturbing trend: more than two thirds of Americans with disabilities are without a job, and adults with disabilities are leaving the labor force ... Read more

Advancing the Civil Rights Movement

A Movement for Employment Equality Dear ABILITY readers, On March 5, 2011, I had the opportunity to travel to Selma, AL to take part in the commemoration of a significant event of the civil rights movement. Forty-six years ago, a peaceful march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., ... Read more