RespectAbility congratulates Senator-elect John Fetterman of Pennsylvania. Senator-elect Fetterman’s victory shows that the voters of Pennsylvania understood something fundamental: disability does not disqualify talented individuals for any type of appointment, including public office.
During a heated Democratic primary in May 2022, Fetterman was abruptly and conspicuously absent from the campaign trail. Campaign staff would eventually confirm that that the candidate had a stroke due to atrial fibrillation and was experiencing auditory processing delays as his body recovered.
For the remainder of the campaign, Fetterman’s team demonstrated the role of reasonable accommodation and ensuring that the barriers posed by even a newly acquired disability need not stand in the way of success. This was especially visible in the use of live captioning at the debate.