Press Release ● Human and Civil Rights
For Immediate Release: 
July 26, 2005
Contact Info: 
Stacey Farnen Bernards
(202) 225 - 3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD), the lead House sponsor of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, released the following statement today regarding the 15th anniversary of the ADA’s enactment on Tuesday:

            “Fifteen years ago today – the day President George H.W. Bush signed the bipartisan Americans With Disabilities Act into law – was one of my proudest moments in public service.

            “For far too long, people with disabilities suffered the cold chill of exclusion.  But with the enactment of the ADA – the world’s first comprehensive declaration of equality for people with disabilities – the warm breeze of inclusion began to sweep across America.

            “Over the last 15 years, there is no doubt that the physical landscape has changed for people with disabilities.  Ramps, curb cuts, Braille signs, captioned televisions and chair lifts are just a few examples.

            “However, despite our progress, it is clear that the promise of the ADA remains unfulfilled for too many Americans with disabilities.  Only about one-third of people with disabilities are employed.  They are three times more likely to live in poverty.  And, the Supreme Court, in several decisions, has failed to give the ADA the broad interpretation that Congress intended when we passed it.

            “Today, we must renew our commitment to principles and spirit of the ADA, and recognize that our work is not done.  The ADA allowed us to tear down the wall of exclusion and pour a strong foundation for the house of equality.  But that house is still being built.

            “The promise of the ADA remains unfulfilled, but is still within reach.”