The fight for equality and inclusion strikes at the core of what it means to be an American. As a nation, we have made important strides to advance civil rights. However, there is still significant work to do on many fronts, including the need to promote a more inclusive and accessible society for people with disabilities.
From the moment I was elected to Congress, I have made fighting for the rights of people with disabilities one of my top legislative priorities. This year marked the 29th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a groundbreaking civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. But there is so much more we can do to realize our goals of full access, inclusion and empowerment for all.
Over the last year, I have worked with disability advocates and my colleagues to address some of the pressing challenges that still remain for people with disabilities. In particular, I led efforts to improve protections for disabled airline passengers, establish a more inclusive process to address the needs of people with disabilities in disaster planning, and increase funding for spinal cord injury research. I also co-led a letter to the Office of Personnel Management requesting an explanation as to why it has failed to hire and retain employees with disabilities. To commemorate the 29th ADA anniversary, I introduced a bill to make it easier for small businesses to become accessible and comply with ADA requirements.
These efforts are important, but there is more to be done. We must keep tackling all issues affecting people with disabilities until we live in a society where all Americans are able to realize their full potential.
To keep up with my ongoing efforts on disability issues, and for updates on many other issues, please visit my website and follow me on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.