August 31st, 2009
07:15 AM ET

Kennedy a champion for disabled

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Andrew J. Imparato
Special to CNN

The disability rights movement has lost a giant in our global struggle for equal opportunity, human dignity and self-determination. Sen. Ted Kennedy's leadership as a disability champion was part of a broader commitment to civil and human rights.

But his accomplishments in the area of disability law and policy may prove to be his greatest and most long-lasting success as a legislator.

Senator Kennedy's commitment to the cause of disability rights was informed by his experience as the brother of Rosemary, who was born with an intellectual disability; and the brother of Eunice, who devoted her life to improving the world's treatment of people with intellectual disabilities.

It was deepened when his son Ted Jr. had his leg amputated at age 12 after being diagnosed with bone cancer; and deepened again when his son Patrick experienced bipolar disorder and substance abuse as an adult.

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Filed under: Sen. Ted Kennedy
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    As a disabled person I am very aware of the disability measures Senator Kennedy sponsored and had passed and am thankful to these measures every day as I try to live my life as normally as possible. The one disappointment in the area of access is that many of the historical sites one can visit throughout the country (Williamsburg, in particular) there is no way for a disabled person whose mobility is impaired to get into these historical buildings to look at what they contend. Some buildings you can enter but you cannot get to the second floor where most of the exhibits are. I hope that someday even though it won't be historically correct, that access for the disabled will be added on to these buildings, etc.

    August 31, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  2. Clark

    a champion of the little guy .... a legacy built on a fortune that was built on illegally gained monies from his father's bootlegging days ... a legacy of pushing for laws that have ended in the deaths of over 52 million babies ... a man that forces men like me to give hard earned money to not only those that are truly widows and truly orphans .... but also forces me to take money from my own family and give it to him so that he can feel good when he gives it to people that refuse to work ... which is also against the Word of God which he "said" he believed.

    August 31, 2009 at 12:02 pm |