As a young boy, my mother brought me to Iowa’s capitol to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the ADA. It was a typical Iowa summer day, hot and humid, but the grounds were abuzz with excitement. For the first time, I saw people with disabilities of all kinds, together, reflections of one another despite our differences, gathered to celebrate all the progress that had been made in 10 short years. The event was an outpouring of joy at what we have achieved. An opportunity to express our gratitude to Senator Tom Harkin who authored and introduced the ADA, Senator Grassley who supported its passage, President George H.W. Bush who signed it, and to all those who helped to make the ADA a reality. It was a day I’ll never forget. Beyond introducing me to a law that would play a huge role in my life, it was an example of my mother teaching me to celebrate my disability, to celebrate my peers, and to never forget that my disability made me who I am, a person worthy of love and respect.
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