A Champion Says Goodbye

Tom_Harkin_official_portraitOn Friday, retiring Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), a stalwart advocate for people with disabilities over a 40-year career, took to the Senate floor to provide his final remarks. Saddened to leave the Senate, he ended his remarks teaching the crowd sign language, specifically for the word, “America.” He noted how this sign is representative of the “circle of inclusion, where no one is left out, that needs to happen in America.” And, with that, he said goodbye to the Senate. His departure leaves disability advocates without their strongest ally in Congress.
Often inspired by the experiences of his late brother Frank, who was deaf, Harkin has long prioritized the needs of people with disabilities, authoring the landmark ADA and pushing for legislation expanding opportunities for education, independent living, employment and physical accessibility.

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