July 26th, 2010
02:37 PM ET
4 years ago

Quadriplegic to preside over House

Rhode Island Rep. Jim Langevin, who is a quadriplegic, will be the first person in a wheelchair to preside over the House of Representatives Monday.
Rhode Island Rep. Jim Langevin, who is a quadriplegic, will be the first person in a wheelchair to preside over the House of Representatives Monday.

Washington (CNN) - Rhode Island Rep. Jim Langevin, who is a quadriplegic, will be the first person in a wheelchair to preside over the House of Representatives Monday.

A series of lifts and platforms will allow the Democrat to get in the Speaker's chair position on the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disability Act. The House will take up a resolution in honor of the anniversary later in the evening.

In addition to installing the lifts, the gavel has also been altered – a smaller version was fashioned with a hook and a Velcro attachment that can attach the gavel to Rep Langevin's hand.

The congressman was paralyzed as a teenager while on a Boy Scout Explorer program at a local police department when a gun accidently discharged. The congressman credits the community support he received following his injury for inspiring him to go into public service.


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