​Tom Harkin, Champion of Disability Rights, to Keynote Reeve Summit

Posted by Reeve Staff in Daily Dose on January 10, 2020 # News, Events, Reeve Summit

Former Senator Tom Harkin, champion of disability rights and chief architect of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), will give the keynote address at the inaugural Reeve Summit 2020: Where Care, Cure and Community Connect, on Thursday, February 27, 2020. This three-day gathering will bring together the paralysis community, key thought leaders, and individuals who have had an extraordinary impact on the lives of people with paralysis and related disabilities.

Harkin grew up with a keen understanding of what it’s like to live with a disability and parlayed that knowledge into crafting and ensuring the passage of the ADA, arguably the most important legislation ever enacted to protect the rights of people with a physical or mental disability. As a Freshman Senator in 1984, he was recruited by the late Ted Kennedy to develop the legislation and made history when he argued for the passage of the law in sign language on the Senate floor.

The ADA, signed into law in 1990, is the crowning achievement of his 40-year career in Congress, first as a Representative from Iowa’s Fifth Congressional District, then as a Senator for five terms, but his commitment to disability rights extends far beyond the ADA – including the passage of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act of 2009 and other legislation.

Harkin retired from the Senate in 2014, but his activism on behalf of the disability community continues, in part through his role as Senior Advisor to the Harkin Institute for Public Policy and Citizen Engagement at Drake University, Des Moines, IA.

The Reeve Summit will be held at the Marriott Marquis, Washington, D.C., from February 26-28, 2020.

Click here to register