NOD Welcomes Former Congressman Jim Langevin as Policy Ambassador

NEW YORK | March 12, 2024

Congressman Jim Langevin

Widely respected in Congress as an advocate for Americans with disabilities during his 22 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, former Rhode Island Congressman Jim Langevin will continue to build on his legacy of service to disabled Americans as the new Co-Chair of the Disability Employment Roundtable, and Policy Ambassador for the National Organization on Disability.


In this newly created position, Congressman Langevin will spearhead efforts to work in partnership with other leading disability groups through the Disability Employment Roundtable, which he will co-chair with longtime NOD Chairman, Governor Tom Ridge. Created in 2018, the Disability Employment Roundtable seeks to address the most pressing policy issues that impede opportunities for people with disabilities to find and maintain employment.


“At a time when opportunities for disabled Americans to find gainful employment have never been higher, disincentives to work caused by failed federal policies are needlessly keeping people out of jobs and trapped in poverty,” said Gov. Ridge. “Few people understand these policies better than Jim Langevin. As NOD’s new Policy Ambassador, Jim will help guide these discussions, which we hope will lead to meaningful changes that will open the door to employment for millions of disabled Americans. We thank Jim for his willingness to continue this critical work after a remarkable career in public service."


The first quadriplegic to serve in the U.S. House, Congressman Langevin was instrumental in the passage of the ADA Amendments Act. He was also the first wheelchair user to serve as Speaker Pro Tempore and preside over the U.S. House of Representatives and is a leading voice in the national disability community. He joined the NOD Board of Directors in July 2023 to strengthen NOD’s mission to promote inclusion and equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities in the workplace.


“I am thrilled to continue my work with NOD,” said Langevin, “having worked closely with NOD during my 22 years in congress to bring down barriers and open up doors of opportunity for people with disabilities. When people with a disability are afforded the opportunity to work not only does it benefit the person, but society benefits from their talents.”


According to the CDC, 1 in 4 American’s have some type of disability, yet a disproportionate amount of them are unemployed. “With unemployment at an all-time low, we need as many Americans as possible in the workforce.  A vibrant diverse workforce is good for people with disabilities, good for companies and it’s especially good for the economy,” Langevin concluded.


Congressman Langevin also will help support the NOD professional services team that works closely with federal contractors who are seeking to employ more people with disabilities. Under 503C federal requirements at the U.S. Department of Labor, federal contractors are required to pursue meaningful disability hiring targets. Unfortunately, most fall far short of those targets.


“By joining Gov. Ridge as co-chair of the Disability Employment Roundtable, Congressman Langevin is yet again showing why he is among the foremost advocates for Americans with disabilities,” said Maria Town, President and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities. “The Roundtable is a demonstration of the vital importance of employment for the disability community – all 15 organizations representing all nature of disabilities, working on the common cause of leveling the playing field for people with disabilities in the workforce. We thank Congressman Langevin Jim for continuing his important work.”


Injured at the age of 16 because of an accidental gun discharge while serving as a Police Explorer, Jim was left paralyzed. The tremendous outpouring of support from his community inspired Congressman Langevin to enter public service and give back to those who had so ardently supported him. After more than 30 years of service in elective office, Congressman Langevin decided to retire from public life undefeated and continues to work on causes close to him.

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