Washington, D.C. – The Arc mourns the death of Former U.S. Senator Bob Dole, who was an important champion in the disability rights movement. Senator Dole served as a faithful ally in fighting for equality for people with disabilities.
A disabled war veteran, Senator Dole exemplified steadfast dedication to the Americans with Disabilities Act, helping to lay critical groundwork and ensure passage of the landmark bipartisan law. He also supported the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and continued to advocate for the treaty after he retired from the Senate. The treaty would have banned discrimination against people with disabilities but ratification failed in the Senate in 2012.
Senator Dole also started the Dole Foundation for Employment of People with Disabilities, established in 1984. He recognized the importance of job training and job placement for people with disabilities and the personal growth and opportunities employment can provide. Senator Dole also supported legislation in the 1980s to make improvements to Supplemental Security Income to help people receive benefits while working.
Senator Dole fought for the rights of people with disabilities throughout his public service. He shared his personal experience with disability to grow bipartisan support on the issues.
“The Arc will remember Senator Dole as an impactful public servant on disability rights issues for decades. We honor Senator Dole’s commitment and his many years on the front lines of the movement,” said Peter Berns, CEO of The Arc. “We look to today’s elected officials carry on Senator Dole’s legacy of doing what is right to ensure equal treatment and human rights for people with disabilities.”