obamarprocsignremarks.doc - Remarks by the President on...

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Remarks by the President on 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act South Lawn THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Good evening, everybody. (Applause.) Thank you so much. Well, we have a gorgeous day to celebrate an extraordinary event in the life of this nation. Welcome, all of you, to our White House. And thank you, Robert, for the wonderful introduction. It is a pleasure and honor to be with all of you on the 20th anniversary of one of the most comprehensive civil rights bills in the history of this country -- the Americans with Disabilities Act. (Applause.) I see so many champions of this law here today. I wish I had time to acknowledge each and every one of you. I want to thank all of you. But I also want to thank our Cabinet Secretaries and the members of my administration here today who are working to advance the goals of the ADA so that it is not just the letter of the law, but the spirit of the law, that's being applied all across this country. (Applause.) I want to thank the members of Congress in attendance who fought to make ADA possible and to keep improving it throughout the years. (Applause.) I want to acknowledge Dick Thornburgh, who worked hard to make this happen as Attorney General under President George H.W. Bush. (Applause.) And by the way, I had a chance to speak to President Bush before I came out here, and he sends heartfelt regards to all of you. And it’s -- he’s extraordinarily proud of the law that was passed. He was very humble about his own role, but I think it’s worth acknowledging the great work that he did. (Applause.) We also remember those we’ve lost who helped make this law possible -- like our old friend, Ted Kennedy. (Applause.) And I see Patrick here. And Justin Dart, Jr., a man folks call the father of the ADA -- whose wife Yoshiko, is here. (Applause.) Yoshiko, so nice to see you. (Applause.) I also notice that Elizabeth Dole is here, and I had a chance to speak to Bob Dole, as well, and thank him for the extraordinary role that he played in advancing this legislation. (Applause.) Let me also say that Congressman Jim Langevin wanted to be here today, but he’s currently presiding over the House chamber -- the first time in our history somebody using a wheelchair has done so. (Applause.) Today, as we commemorate what the ADA accomplished, we celebrate who the ADA was all about. It was about the young girl in Washington State who just wanted to see a movie at her hometown theater, but was turned away because she had cerebral palsy; or the young man in Indiana who showed up at a worksite, able to do the work, excited for the opportunity, but was turned away and called a cripple because of a minor disability he had already trained himself to work with; or the student in California who was eager and able to attend the college of his dreams, and refused to let the iron grip of polio keep him from the classroom -- each of whom became integral to this cause.
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  • Fall '11
  • Burns
  • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, applause

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