Senator Tom Harkin on Disabilities
In 1974, Tom Harkin was elected to Congress from Iowa's Fifth Congressional District. In 1984, after serving 10 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Tom challenged an incumbent Senator and won. Iowans returned him to the Senate in 1990, 1996 and again in 2002.
Tom's signature legislative achievement is the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Known as the "Emancipation Proclamation for people with disabilities," this landmark law protects the civil rights of millions of Americans with physical and mental disabilities. The law has literally changed the landscape of America by requiring accessible buildings and transportation, and workplace accommodations for people with disabilities.
As chairman of the Senate panel that funds medical research, health care and education initiatives, Tom has worked to transform America into a "wellness society" focused on disease prevention, healthier lifestyles, and good nutrition.