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In House First, Congressman In Wheelchair To Preside On ADA Anniversary


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The first member of the House of Representatives with quadriplegia will preside over the governing body on Monday in honor of the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., will be the first person using a wheelchair to take the helm of the House. The opportunity is possible because of recent alterations to the House Speaker’s platform making it wheelchair accessible through a series of lifts.

“I have long said that I may be the first quadriplegic to serve in Congress, but I won’t be the last,” Langevin, a five-term congressman, said in a statement. “This is an extremely proud moment for me and helps renew my spirit as we continue to remove barriers and strengthen the ADA for millions of Americans with disabilities in the decades to come.”

Langevin is expected to preside over House debate between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. EST as well as a series of votes between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. EST on Monday.

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Comments (3 Responses)

  1. adaptmt says:

    Esteemed Congressman, Rep. Jim Langevin, has been in Congress for 5 terms, and only now is the Speaker’s platform being made accessible? Does anyone else wonder why so much of America doesn’t seem to take the ADA seriously, or openly castigates it, when Congress itself has been so slow to follow the law they themselves wrote and passed? I celebrate Rep. Langevin presiding over Congress next Monday, but I do so with a heavy heart at how long it took to make this possible. sigh.

  2. taniamorse85 says:

    I had no idea there was a congressman who was a quad. This is a very interesting way to commemorate the ADA anniversary!

  3. ptbagger says:

    adaptmt, Its very sad that Congress has been so slow, one possible reason why American’s ignore the ADA is because the legislation has put the enforcement of the ADA onto the backs of Individuals with Disabilities by requiring an ADA Title II or III complaint, and making it a volunteer compliance law until such complaint is filed. This was short sighted by President George Bush Sr and has sent the message to America that Individuals with Disabilities must fight for their Civil Rights each & every day of our lives, but others will continue to be able to just, walk in without barriers!

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