Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) gave a moving speech on September 21, 2023 during a hearing on disability access of the Senate Special Committee on Aging. The focus of the hearing was how people with disabilities, veterans and older adults can get ensured access to government technology.

The senator, who has been transparent about his clinical depression diagnosis and treatment, also suffered a stroke last May. The stroke resulted in an auditory processing disorder.

The Essential Technology

During his speech, Fetterman showed the transcription service on his phone that he now relies on to interact with his staff as well as family. He depends on it to follow conversations. For him, this type of technology is crucial to his life and career.

Not only did he share the technology he uses, but he was very open about the scrutiny he has faced. In fact, he said he has been made fun of for his disability. It was during this admission that Fetterman choked up.

More Empathy Combined With More Responsive and More Effective Senators

Fetterman asked his colleagues how they all could become “more empathetic, more responsive and more effective senators, to provide the kind of support and services” that people with disabilities “deserve.”

The video has since gone viral. Fetterman exemplifies the bravery and respect everyone desires from elected officials.


Photo attribution: Screengrab/TheRecount

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