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President Bush Remembered as Champion for People with Disabilities
Americans have been mourning the death of George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st President of the U.S. Among President Bush’s achievements was the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, 1990.
He is remembered as a champion for people with disabilities as a result of the passage of the ADA, an enduring piece of civil rights legislation he called his “proudest” moment as POTUS.
“Among President George H.W. Bush’s lifetime accomplishments, perhaps his most profound and impactful is the ADA,” says RespectAbility Chairman Hon. Steve Bartlett, who was a primary co-sponsor of the ADA and who worked with the president. RespectAbility is a Rockville, MD-based, non-profit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for people with disabilities. Bartlett released a statement following the former president’s death.
“He was the originator and the force behind the ADA. He consistently gave others the credit. Indeed, he announced his proposal that became the ADA the evening before his inaugural, surprising everyone in Washington, DC, except Boyden Gray and Justin Dart,” Bartlett’s statement continues, respectability.org/2018/12/remembering-george-h-w-bush.
“The President allowed Congress to do the legislating, of course, but he personally guided the process gently, but firmly for 18 months. Millions of Americans with disabilities, and their friends and families, live better lives because of George H.W. Bush. Thank you, Mr. President.”
The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) quoted President Bush on the ADA in its December 2018 eNewsletter following his passing on November 30, 2018: “This act is powerful in its simplicity. It will ensure that people with disabilities are given the basic guarantees for which they have worked so long and so hard: independence, freedom of choice, control of their lives, the opportunity to blend fully and equally into the rich mosaic of the American mainstream.”
More information about the ADA - and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) Bush’s son, President George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the U.S., signed into law - can be found at ada.gov and dol.gov/odep/topics/ADA.htm.
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