On the 20th anniversary of the historic Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) civil rights legislation, Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), who is quadriplegic, is presiding over the House:
Rep. Langevin becomes the first Member of Congress in a wheelchair to preside over the House as the Speaker's rostrum on the House Floor has just been made wheelchair-accessible through a series of lifts. The Speaker explained:
There's a reason Mr. Langevin is first. He is first because of his courage. He is first because of his inspiration. And he is first because when I became Speaker, he said to me: 'Now that you are presiding, I want to preside too.' So when that day — when we made history, having the first woman Speaker of the House, it became clear that we had to make history today in having Jim Langevin preside on this historic occasion, which is a source of pride to all of us, but also, a source of challenge as to how we go forward addressing the new technologies so that we can continue to remove barriers of participation to all Americans.
Watch the opening of the House: