CODI: Cornucopia of Disability Information

DNC Chairman Don Fowler Honors Americans with Disabilities Act Anniversary

For Immediate Release
Contact: Bob Sevigny
July 25, 1995
(202) 479-5110

DNC Chairman Don Fowler Honors Americans with Disabilities Act Anniversary

WASHINGTON, D.C.--Democratic National Committee Chairman Don Fowler today used the occasion of the upcoming anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to reassert the Democratic Party's strong and continuing support for the full participation and inclusion by people with disabilities in all aspects of American society.

Noting that July 26th will be the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, DNC Chairman Fowler reaffirmed the committment of the Democratic Party to the principles underlying this landmark piece of civil rights legislation. "Equal opportunity, full participation, employment opportunities, independent living and economic self-sufficiency are the core principles underlying the ADA," Fowler said. " The DNC fully supports the full implementation and enforcement of the ADA so that people with disabilities can continue their integration into American society."

Fowler noted that the nation has come a long way since 1990, when the ADA was originally adopted, toward dispelling the stereotypes and assumptions about people with disabilities. People with disabilities are getting jobs. Curb cuts are everywhere. Public accommodations are becoming accessible. Telecommunications for people who are deaf and hard of hearing is becoming a reality. People who are blind can receive information in a format they can use.

These are just a few examples of the gains people with disabilities have made over the last five years. As a result of these gains, many people with disabilities are able to become productive, taxpaying, members of our society. "Sadly, this anniversary comes as a time of increasing attacks on the ADA by House Majority Leader Dick Armey and other Republicans," Fowler said.

The ADA was originally passed by a democratically controlled Congress, receiving overwhelming bi-partisan support. In the Senate, the ADA was adopted by a vote of 91-6. In the House it passed by a vote of 377-28.

"Regrettably, today some Republicans have stated that they wish to weaken or repeal this important piece of civil rights legislation. We strongly disagree with those views," Fowler said. "This is not a time to retreat from defending the rights of people with disabilities. Working together with Americans with disabilities, their families and advocates, Democrats will fight to defend ADA against such attacks. Together, we will make this country a place where equal opportunity for all includes every disabled person."

DNC Chairman Fowler added, "I am pleased to join President Clinton and citizens with disabilities across the country in celebration of ADA."

President Clinton recently stated, "My Administration is firmly committed to the vigorous implementation and enforcement of the ADA. No longer will Americans with disabilities be kept from realizing their dreams by closed doors or narrow minds. Building partnerships between government and business and people throughout the land, we best celebrate this day by rededicating ourselves to creating a society of equal access and equal rights for all."

Historically, the Democratic party has been a staunch fighter for the rights of Americans with disabilities. In the last several years the DNC has conducted an aggressive program of outreach to the disability community. In May of this year, the DNC created a Disability Advisory Council to further increase the participation and involvement of people with disabilities in all Democratic party activities.

### (Ed.: No statement was available from the Republican National Committee)