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Release: July 5, 2000

Harkin, UI Law Professor Peter Blanck to join others at ADA celebration

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), University of Iowa College of Law Professor Peter Blanck, and Bob Kafka, lead proponent of a federal bill to improve health care for disabled persons, are among featured guests at a July 22 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) celebration in Iowa City.

The Evert Conner Rights and Resources Center for Independent Living, located in Iowa City, is sponsoring the fourth annual ADA event that celebrates and discusses issues affecting persons with disabilities. The guest speakers' public comments are expected just after 11 a.m., following a 10 a.m. parade that begins at the Iowa Civic Center, 401 E. Washington St., and progresses to nearby College Green Park. Parade participants are expected to include persons with disabilities, labor unions, and others in the Iowa City community.

Sarah Bargstadt, of the Evert Conner Center, says this year's celebration will focus on the Medicaid Community Attendant Services and Supports Act of 1999, introduced into the House by Senators Harkin and Arlen Specter (R-PA). In summary, the bill would allow persons with disabilities to receive care in their own homes and communities instead of nursing care facilities.

Posted on his Web site and speaking on the nearly 10 year-old ADA law, Harkin said the ADA "has opened up new worlds to people with disabilities."

"They are participating more and more in their communities and living fuller lives as students, co-workers, taxpayers, consumers, voters and neighbors," he said in the press release.

Harkin is one of eight Senate Democrats and 10 Republicans who serve on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Blanck is among the nation's foremost ADA policy thinkers and heads the UI's Center for Law, Health Policy & Disability Center. Kafka is the national American Disabled for Attendant Programs Today organizer.