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All of us were deeply saddened last night to learn of the passing of Congressman John Dingell.

Congressman Dingell was a zealous and tireless advocate for the rights, needs, and humanity of people with disabilities, and we will forever remember him with honor and pride. Most notably, Congressman Dingell was one of the original sponsors of the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA), the landmark civil rights law that has revolutionized the quality of life for millions since its passage in 1990.  His contributions to advancing disability needs went well beyond the ADA, though.  He shaped laws relating to medicaid, social security, and affordable housing, all of which defined the lives of people with disabilities.  And through all of this work, he brought a deep sense of personal commitment, sincerity, and passion.

To us, though, Congressman Dingell was more than a Washington leader who changed lives on a national level – he was a friend, advocate, and supporter of the Ann Arbor CIL.  Congressman Dingell visited the Ann Arbor CIL during his tenure in office many times and got to know our community.  He voiced our needs to fellow government leaders, advocated for our funding during turbulent times, and regularly attended our events.  Simply put, the Ann Arbor CIL would not be what it is today without him.  He was a beloved figurehead for all of us and a champion for the community’s advancement.

We are so honored and grateful to continue to advance the rights and quality of life of people with disabilities working with his beloved wife, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, who continues to support the Center in so many ways.

From all of us, Congressman Dingell, thank you.  Your legacy lives on.