The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), U.S. Department of Education, would like to share with you information about an event hosted by the National Council on Disability (NCD) and its federal partners on Tuesday, July 26, 2005, in recognition of the 15th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).
Since its signing July 26, 1990, by former President George H.W. Bush, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) has given Americans with disabilities rights and protections aimed at ensuring that the promise of full participation and community living become a reality. For this to happen, individuals with disabilities need safe and affordable housing, access to transportation, access to the political process and access to the services, programs and activities offered to all members of the community at public and private facilities. The ADA marked a milestone in our nation's quest to guarantee these rights of all Americans, including those with disabilities.
On the 15th anniversary of this landmark legislation, we recognize the important progress the ADA has brought about for the 43 million Americans with disabilities. It has allowed individuals with disabilities to participate more fully in society; and has opened doors for countless Americans by guaranteeing equal rights for people with disabilities by removing barriers, improving education and employment opportunities, expanding public services and regulating public accommodations, transportation and telecommunications.
Still, there is work to be done. The ADA has played a vital role in raising public awareness of disability issues and the broad social benefits of equal opportunity; however many Americans with disabilities continue to face both physical barriers and false perceptions. Removing those obstacles requires a determined and focused commitment to the goals of the ADA: equality of opportunity, economic self-sufficiency, full participation and independent living.
By striving to ensure that no American is denied access to employment, education, cultural activities or community life because of a disability, we strengthen our communities and our society as a whole.
"The Americans with Disabilities Act 1990—2005: 15 Years of Making A Difference," will be held July 26, 2005, at the Marriott at Metro Center, 775 12th Street, N.W., Washington, DC, from 9:00 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. The day's events include several ADA-related seminars, panels and workshops featuring speakers from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Social Security Administration (SSA), the Department of Transportation (DOT) and NCD.
Assistant Secretary John H. Hager is looking forward to participating in the Employment Panel, 11:00 a.m.—12:20 p.m. He and other leaders from federal agencies will present work they have undertaken to increase the recruiting, hiring, retention, and promotion outcomes of people with disabilities.
A full agenda of the day's events, which are open to the public, can be downloaded here: