Sen. Bob Dole leaves behind legacy as an advocate for disabled

FILE - In this July 18, 2016 file photo, political icon and 1996 Republican presidential...
FILE - In this July 18, 2016 file photo, political icon and 1996 Republican presidential nominee Sen. Bob Dole is seen at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Published: Dec. 5, 2021 at 10:15 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Senator Bob Dole will be remembered for his political career and his military service but one thing that Amy Hyten hopes is not forgotten, is his passion for helping disabled people.

“Senator Bob Dole is probably one of the leading disability advocacy figures in the disability rights movement,” said Hyten. “Both of because of his lived experience as a person with a disability who went on to become a senator and a presidential candidate, but also as his leadership he serve in the many years in the united states senate.”

Many credit Senator Dole’s leadership for the passage of the law prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities.

“In 1990 the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed and Senator Dole was a senator at that time and he was one of the integral figures in pushing the Americans with disabilities act from the idea stage to the actual enactment of the law.”

In 1984 he started a foundation that issued grants to organizations to provide training and employment to people with disabilities.

He is also one of the founders of the American Association of People With Disabilities.

Hyten says that Dole never stopped advocating for the disabled.

“A group of students for the Kansas School of the Deaf we’re visiting D.C and they wanted to do a white house tour but they were told that a sign language interpreter was not available and the call came to senator Dole’s office and he immediately stepped in and made sure that those students had a sign language interpreter.”

She says if it wasn’t for Senator Dole there may not be places like the Topeka Independent Living Resource Center.

“it isn’t until people like Senator Dole helped us find the key to open those doors that people could come out into the community and meet friends, meet spouses, they could spend time with family and become a part of the community.”

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