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Bush on the ADA

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  • Bush on the ADA


    Office of the Press Secretary
    Saturday, July 28, 2001


    THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. This past week, our country
    marked the 11th anniversary of the Americans with
    Disabilities Act. I'm proud that it was my father who
    signed that landmark legislation into law. And all
    Americans can take pride in the changes the ADA has brought
    into the lives of millions of citizens with disabilities.
    Because of that law, Americans with disabilities have
    gained greater access to public places. They have more
    options in choosing their homes, using public
    transportation, traveling and staying in hotels.

    Many have joined the work force, thanks to reasonable
    accommodations made by their employers. This has made our
    country a fairer society, more considerate and welcoming to
    all our citizens.

    As people with disabilities find more opportunities to use
    their gifts and talents, we also become a stronger, more
    productive nation. Some barriers remain, however. And as
    long as they stand, our work is unfinished.

    In February, I announced a plan called the New Freedom
    Initiative to expand even further the opportunities
    available to people with disabilities. This initiative will
    help more Americans with disabilities enter the work force
    by improving transportation, or making it easier to work
    from home. It will encourage private companies to develop
    new assistive technologies, like computer monitors for
    people with visual impairments, infrared pointers for
    people who cannot use their hands to operate a keyboard,
    and lighter wheelchairs to increase mobility. And my New
    Freedom Initiative will help community groups, churches,
    synagogues, mosques and civic organizations to improve
    access for people with disabilities.

    Many of these groups are trying their best to meet the
    requirements of ADA, and we will help them. We must also
    work to ensure that people with disabilities are not
    arbitrarily isolated or kept apart. I recently signed an
    executive order requiring federal agencies to work with
    state and local authorities to allow people with
    disabilities to move out of institutions and into community

    I've also instructed the Attorney General and the Secretary
    of Health and Human Services to fully enforce Title II of
    the Americans with Disabilities Act, ensuring that no one
    is unjustifiably institutionalized.

    My administration is also committed to requiring all
    federal agencies to make sure that their Internet sites are
    more accessible for people with disabilities, both inside
    and outside the government.

    We have made significant progress in advancing the New
    Freedom Initiative. But some of these reforms will require
    the Congress to provide the resources we need to fully
    implement the New Freedom Initiative and fulfill the
    promise of ADA.

    All of these efforts will build on the progress we have
    made as a society since the Americans With Disabilities Act
    became law. During the last 11 years, we have opened the
    doors of opportunity to millions of people with
    disabilities; and, together, we can ensure that everyone
    with a disability enjoys the respect that all citizens

    Thank you for listening.




    Office of the Press Secretary

    For Immediate Release
    July 26, 2001


    Eleven years ago today, people from across America gathered
    to celebrate the signing of the Americans with Disabilities
    Act of 1990 (ADA), one of the Nation's most important civil
    rights laws since the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The ADA
    opened up the true promise of America to people with
    disabilities who, for far too long, have found impediments
    to getting an education, getting a job, or just getting

    I am proud that my father saw the need for a comprehensive
    law to liberate the energies and talents of people with
    disabilities, and who worked with the Congress to make the
    ADA a reality.

    Much has been accomplished in the past 11 years. Attitudes
    are changing and barriers are coming down all across
    America. Employers now provide a range of "accommodations"
    to ensure that employees with disabilities can keep their
    place in the wage-earning world, resulting in unprecedented
    economic opportunities. And, outside of the workplace, the
    promise of the ADA, coupled with the entrepreneurial spirit
    of the private sector, has enabled people with disabilities
    to enjoy much greater access to a wide range of affordable
    travel, recreational opportunities, and life-enriching

    Because of the ADA, people with disabilities are gaining
    equal access to public sector services. And the public
    sector has rallied to the ADA's goals. From improving
    access at town halls and courthouses to providing
    accessible parking to assistive listening devices at public
    States and local governments have developed some of the
    most innovative and meaningful responses to the ADA. In
    addition, my Administration is committed to full and
    effective implementation of Section 508 of the
    Rehabilitation Act, which will help ensure that people of
    all abilities can access government information and online
    services. My Administration is
    working closely with State and local governments to move
    people with disabilities out of
    institutions and into community-based settings, going above
    and beyond the requirements of the Supreme Court's landmark
    Olmstead decision.

    In fact, the message of the ADA is being heard all around
    the world. Over 40 countries, from Australia to Uganda,
    now have laws prohibiting discrimination against people
    with disabilities -- many of them inspired by the ADA.

    Although we have accomplished much because of the ADA, our
    job is far from done. People with disabilities are far more
    likely than other Americans to drop out of high school or
    to suffer from poverty and unemployment. They are far less
    likely to own a home, to use a computer to
    explore the Internet, or to vote.

    Earlier this year, I proposed the New Freedom Initiative.
    It is the next step in securing the promise of the ADA. The
    New Freedom Initiative will help ensure that Americans with
    disabilities can access the best technologies of today and
    even better technologies in the future. We will expand
    educational opportunities and accessible transportation and
    take steps to fully
    integrate people with disabilities into the workforce. We
    will expand housing opportunities and improve access to
    churches, mosques, synagogues, and civic organizations. And
    we will fully enforce the ADA while working in partnership
    with businesses, States, and local governments to promote
    the highest possible degree of voluntary cooperation.

    The Americans with Disabilities Act was an unprecedented
    step forward in promoting freedom, independence, and
    dignity for millions of our people. On this, the 11th
    anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, I
    remain committed to tearing down the remaining barriers to
    equality that face Americans with disabilities today.

    July 26, 2001.

  • #2
    I think that rather than resting on the accomplishments of George, Sr., J.W. Jr should step up to the plate and create his own lasting legacy by passing legislation to allow federal funding for stem cell research of all types. Curb cuts are nice, but I for one would be happier walking over them.