Capitol Correspondence - 07.30.18

Honoring the ADA Anniversary: A Recap of Last Week’s Activities in Congress and the White House

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Members of Congress and the White House issued statements and made speeches honoring the 28th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). For the convenience of our members, ANCOR has compiled those statements and speeches here.

President Trump issued his ADA proclamation: “Our Nation must continue to build upon this foundation and continue to further the participation of the more than 56 million Americans living with disabilities.  My Administration continues to encourage research that will lead to advancements in technology, medicine, and other fields and better enable independent living.”

U.S. House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) issued a statement: “As we look back on the legacy of the ADA, it’s critical that we are also building a future where we focus on people’s abilities, their God-given talents, and all that they have to offer.”

U.S. House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) made a floor speech: “The ADA has reshaped the landscape of our country for millions of people living with disabilities, and, indeed, for many millions throughout the world. It has done more than build ramps or widen doorways. It has changed perceptions and brought greater understanding, not only to the abilities of those who were previously excluded, but also to the challenges of living with a disability.”

U.S. Representative and Chair of the Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus Jim Langevin (D-RI) made a floor speech (not available online): “Mr. Speaker, I rise to celebrate the 28th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In 1990, the bipartisan effort to identify disability rights and civil rights became the foundation for reducing discrimination for the disability community. The enactment of the A.D.A. Was a ground breaking acknowledgment that people with disabilities deserve the dignity of full participation and integration into daily life. It eliminated countless physical and societal barriers and increased access to education, employment, housing, and transportation.

Yet as we remember this historic day and look back on all that we have accomplished, let us recognize that there’s so much more to be done. It’s up to each and every one of us to promote greater access and inclusion and the opportunity to lead a life filled with dignity so we can one day realize the full promise of the A.D.A. Because when we fight for inclusion and equality of individuals with disability also fight for a world characterized by inclusion and equality for all. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I yield back the balance of my time.”

U.S. Representative Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) made a floor speech: “Mr. Speaker, the ADA helped open up schools and workplaces, stadiums, parks, trolleys, and buses regardless of a person’s disability. It also ensured that healthcare providers offer reasonable accommodations and effective communication for their patients with disabilities. Mr. Speaker, there is still more work to do.”

U.S. Senator Maureen Hassan (D-NH) issued a statement: “As we mark the 28th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, I am profoundly grateful for all of the advocates and champions for people who experience disabilities who made this landmark legislation a reality. We must continue to build on their efforts to ensure that all Americans who experience disabilities are fully included and have the support they need to thrive at home, in school, at work, and in all aspects of their lives.”

U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) held an event celebrating the ADA and introducing two bills: See our feature story in today’s issue to learn more about ANCOR’s support for the Senator’s efforts on employment for people with disabilities.