FITCHBURG – Today, I have delivered a letter to Speaker Vos, Minority Leader Hintz, and the ADA Coordinator for the Legislature renewing my request for reasonable disability accommodations. Under the current administration of the Assembly rules, it is not possible for me to be physically present for every vote and maintain my health and safety as a quadriplegic. As such, I am invoking my rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act and requesting the following reasonable accommodations:
- To establish a way for me to digitally/telephonically participate and vote during floor sessions that affords me the same opportunities as my colleagues who are physically present;
- To hold all committee hearings and floor sessions during reasonable hours, no earlier than 9 AM and no later than 9 PM, unless there is a legitimate emergency purpose for doing so;
- To provide five days notice for all committee hearings and floor sessions and 30 minutes notice for when we are to return to the floor after any delay or recess lasting more than an hour.
There should be no doubt that I am entitled to effective accommodations. The ADA guarantees me full access to civic life, including the opportunity to serve in office, just as our state constitution, our statutes, and our Assembly rules guarantee my constituents full representation from their state representative. To deny me these reasonable and necessary accommodations would not only be contrary to the rule of law and result in expensive and needless litigation borne by Wisconsin taxpayers, it would be an affront to the simple decency we should show one another as human beings.