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HELP Committee

On Thursday, September 18th, Senator Harkin held what might be is last disability hearing as a U.S. Senator. The hearing was entitled “Fulfilling the Promise: Overcoming Persistent Barriers to Economic Self-Sufficiency for People with Disabilities” and featured a wide-range of panelists all discussing the barriers to employment success and opportunities to live an independent life in the community.

Disability Hearing

As Senator Harkin noted, his first hearing almost 30 years ago was on disability issues as well as his last, an appropriate way to end Harkin’s, for someone who has done so much to improve the lives of people with disabilities.

View the recorded hearing and read testimonies from yesterday’s hearing here

Additionally, Senator Harkin unveiled a report that he instructed his HELP Committee staff to investigate the barriers that people with disabilities face as they seek to rise out of poverty and enter the middle class. The findings of the Harkin HELP Committee investigation include:

  • Living with a disability in America can be both economically and socially costly;
  • Many people with disabilities fear that earning or saving too much money could cause them to lose access to supports that they need to live independently in the community;
  • People with disabilities often cannot save for emergencies and unanticipated challenges;
  • People with disabilities often cannot participate in the workforce because they lack reliable, accessible transportation and accessible, affordable housing; and
  • People with disabilities continue to report experiencing employment discrimination, discriminatory wages, inaccessible workplaces, and persistently low expectations about what they can accomplish.

We all know these findings to be true but we are grateful for his continuing support of our issues. Read the full report

(Source: U.S. Senate HELP Committee)