WASHINGTON – This past weekend, the disability community lost a very important advocate, President George H.W Bush. Today, the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) joins the country in recognizing a national day of mourning for the loss of such an esteemed man and visionary leader.
In addition to many important things that President Bush accomplished during his 8 years as Vice President and 4 years as President of the United States, he signed, on July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA, modeled after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibits the discrimination of persons with disabilities in all aspects of life. The implementation of the law began a continuous discussion about the inclusion of people with disabilities and creating a more accessible society for people of all abilities. “When President Bush was asked by journalists and others about his accomplishments during his Presidency, without fail he always said signing the ADA was the single most important accomplishment he had,” said Donna Meltzer, CEO of the NACDD. “He and members of his Administration were true to the effort of passage of this great law and spoke to his beliefs as an individual.”
“Together, we must remove the physical barriers we have created and the social barriers that we have accepted,” President Bush said as he signed the ADA into law. “For ours will never be a truly prosperous nation until all within it prosper.”
The ADA opened countless doors for people with disabilities in education, employment, transportation and community living. The NACDD continues to fight for the rights of persons with disabilities, and upholds the legacy that President Bush he has left. More than 28 years after its signing, the Americans with Disabilities Act remains one of the most crucial pieces of legislation that the United States has passed to ensure the rights of people with disabilities. We are grateful for President H.W. Bush and others who envisioned a just and inclusive society.
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