Dec. 6, 2021
WASHINGTON--The following is a statement by the National Council on Disability regarding the passing of former U.S. Sen. Robert "Bob" J. Dole, 98, who died Sunday:
Senator Dole was a patriot who exemplified service. His experience with and advocacy for the disability community was driven as a service-disabled veteran who sustained severe injuries during World War II.
A vice presidential and presidential candidate, he is perhaps best remembered for his leadership in the Senate, where he supported every major piece of disability legislation before Congress. There he cosponsored the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act. Working across the aisle, he was a champion in making it a reality.
He also supported passage of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, the 1975 Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, the 1975 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the 1986 Protection and Advocacy for the Mentally Ill Act, the 1986 Air Carriers Access Act, the 1986 Education of the Deaf Act, the 1988 Technology Assistance Act, and the 1990 Television Decoder Circuitry Act.
He created the Dole Foundation, focused on the employment of people with disabilities, and was one of the founders of the American Association of People with Disabilities. On the international front, he pushed policymakers for support of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Despite his continued advocacy for the international treaty and it being signed in 2009, it has yet to be ratified by the Senate.
NCD mourns his death and sends condolences to the Dole family with respect for a great American who had an extraordinary impact on people with disabilities.