By President

George H.W. Bush at the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act on the South Lawn, 1990

On July 26, 1990, on the South Lawn of the White House, President George Bush signed “the world’s first comprehensive declaration of equality for people with disabilities.” The Americans with Disabilities Act made the U.S. the international leader on this civil rights issue. In this speech, Bush says that despite the Civil Rights Act of 1964, people with disabilities were still victims of segregation and discrimination. He closes his remarks by invoking the Declaration of Independence when he says, “Today’s legislation brings us closer to that day when no Americans will ever again be deprived of their basic guarantees of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

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