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WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD), the lead Democratic sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act in the House, released the following statement today marking the 16th anniversary of the ADA, which was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990:
"Since it was signed into law 16 years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act has created opportunities that previously would never have existed for people with disabilities - from simply being able to go to a movie theater, to being able to go to work everyday and earn a living for themselves and their families.
"However, much still needs to be done to improve the lives of people with disabilities. The sad fact remains that only around one-third of people with disabilities are employed. As a country that values work, we must do more to ensure that America's workplaces are accessible and safe for people with disabilities. In addition, people with disabilities are three times more likely to live in poverty - a fact which is unacceptable.
"When Congress passed the ADA and President George H.W. Bush signed it into law, we made a promise of equality to Americans living with disabilities. We also made a commitment to unlock the energy and talents of millions of Americans which had been mired for centuries by ignorance and rank prejudice. Though progress has been made, we must take care that we live up to this promise and to the spirit of inclusion and possibility embodied in this landmark law."