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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: June 12, 2019 10:59 AM
From: Representative Dan L. Miller and Rep. Lori A. Mizgorski
To: All House members
Subject: Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act
(Colleagues- please note that this resolution will not be formally introduced until we return in the fall, but we invite you to sign on now!)

Thirty years ago, our nation took a huge step forward in promoting equal opportunity for all. On July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted, affirming civil rights protections for individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life. In 2020, we will mark the 30th anniversary of this landmark law, which guarantees people with disabilities equal opportunity in areas like employment, education, public accommodations, communications, transportation, and access to government programs and services.

The fight to ensure that the ADA become law was not easily won. It was a truly bipartisan effort, in which a Republican House of Representatives and a Democratic Senate came together to advance the bill, which was then signed by President George H. W. Bush, and it was fueled by the passion of thousands of advocates who fought tirelessly to advance the rights of those with disabilities.

This passion was perhaps never more clearly demonstrated than in the Capitol Crawl, which saw more than 60 activists abandon their wheelchairs, crutches and other mobility devices and crawl up the 83 stone steps of the Capitol in order to drive home the point that a government for the people needs to be for all people.

It is also important to recognize and remember the unique role that Pennsylvanians played in helping the ADA cross the finish line. President Bush chose Dick Thornburgh to act as his point person for the administration in working to get the bill through Congress. Following its enactment, Attorney General Thornburgh played a key role in its implementation, by directing the Department of Justice in a wide-ranging enforcement program.

Nevertheless, we don’t have to look far to see that significant challenges remain. Whether it is in employment or at the ballot box, the struggle to ensure that people with disabilities enjoy the same rights, privileges and opportunities as everyone else continues.

It is our responsibility as public servants to ensure that all Pennsylvanians, including those with disabilities, are able to fully engage in all aspects of public life.

Please join us in celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the ADA, a law which truly made our nation more perfect, and in carrying this fight for equal opportunity into the future.

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Introduced as HR543