MINOT, N.D. – As the nation honors the life of former President George H.W. Bush, he is being lauded for his efforts to expand rights for those with disabilities.
George H.W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation/MGN
Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, commonly referred to as the ADA.
The law prohibits discrimination against those with disabilities, opens employment opportunities, and makes parts of society more accessible, with sidewalks and store entrances.
Bush, who himself was confined to a wheelchair in the final years of his life, championed a bipartisan effort to pass the law during his time in office.
“The ADA had been kicked around for a long time, and it never really got too far into Congress. And when he was elected, he made a priority, and he actually assigned his chief of staff and he said, ‘get this through Congress,’ and kind of using the heavy-handedness that comes with being the president is what finally pushed it over the finish line and allowed it to be signed,” said Scott Burlingame, Independence, Inc executive director.
Bush signed the ADA into law on July 26, 1990.