A Wisconsin state representative is hoping that his ordeal will eventually give more attention to disabled people in places like Door and Kewaunee counties and throughout the State of Wisconsin. Wisconsin State Rep Jimmy Anderson, a Democrat for the 47th District in Fitchburg, is paralyzed from the chest down and is not being allowed by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos to participate in committee meetings by phone. Vos, a Republican from Rochester, says having someone phone into meetings can lead to things being disruptive and ineffective. The State Assembly does not allow members to phone into meetings now, but that could be overturned with a vote. The State Senate does allow for phone-ins. Anderson says he has a right to call into meetings because of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and is considering suing for the right to do that.
Anderson says a silver lining of this situation is more attention gets paid to the issues of people with disabilities.
Anderson was paralyzed in 2010 when a drunk driver hit the vehicle he was in, killing his parents and brother.