[United States Statutes at Large, Volume 124, 111th Congress, 2nd Session]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]

 
PROCLAMATION 8542--JULY 26, 2010

Proclamation 8542 of July 26, 2010
Anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act, 2010
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

When the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law in
1990, a founding truth of our Nation was realized for persons living
with disabilities--that all our citizens are entitled to the same
privileges, pursuits, and civil rights. As we mark the 20th anniversary
of this historic legislation, we renew our commitment to ensuring that
ev-

[[Page 4667]]

eryone with disabilities can live free from the weight of discrimination
and pursue the American dream.
Across our country, Americans with disabilities have enriched and
strengthened our Nation. Each day, individuals living with disabilities
contribute immeasurably to every aspect of our country's national life
and economy, from art to law, science to business, education to
technology. Through steadfast determination, they have worked to make
our communities more accessible, while empowering others to exercise
independence and self-determination in all aspects of their lives. They
have also brightened futures for countless young people. Today, children
and youth with disabilities have a place in our classrooms alongside
their peers, and are graduating with the knowledge and skills needed for
postsecondary education and beyond.
Yet, despite the progress made in removing barriers and eliminating
discrimination based on disability, on this 20th anniversary of the ADA,
we must renew our commitment to achieving equal opportunity for, and the
full inclusion of, all people with disabilities. My Administration has
taken important steps towards achieving this goal. We have expanded
funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act so that all
of America's children have access to the tools to succeed. Under the
health care reforms enacted in the Affordable Care Act, unfair practices
like discrimination based on health status or pre-existing conditions
will be eliminated. This landmark legislation also creates the Community
Living Assistance Services and Supports Program to assist Americans with
disabilities to live independently. Additionally, the Affordable Care
Act provides States with more tools and financial incentives, such as
the Community First Choice Option, which will support individuals with
disabilities living in the communities of their choosing. These and
other initiatives build on the ``Year of Community Living,'' which I
launched in 2009 to support independent living.
The Federal Government is committed to leading by example in hiring
people with disabilities, with focused efforts to recruit, retain, and
support these public servants. In partnership with the many Federal
agencies and departments with ADA responsibilities, my Administration
will uphold strong and meaningful enforcement of the ADA to eliminate
discrimination in employment, housing, public services, and community
accommodations. I urge all Americans to visit Disability.gov for
comprehensive disability-related information and resources.
I am also proud that the United States has in the past year joined the
international community in signing the United Nations Convention on the
Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In so doing, we affirm that these
rights are not simply principles to safeguard at home, but also
universal rights to be respected and advanced around the world.
In honor of and in solidarity with all Americans with disabilities and
their loved ones, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the ADA, and
recommit to build a more just world, free of unnecessary barriers and
full of deeper understanding.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of
America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and
the laws of the United States do hereby proclaim Monday, July 26, 2010,
the Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. I encourage
Americans across our Nation to celebrate the 20th an-

[[Page 4668]]

niversary of this civil rights law and the many contributions of
individuals with disabilities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-sixth day of
July, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence
of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.
BARACK OBAMA