Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 106 Part 6.djvu/848

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106 STAT. 5406 PROCLAMATION 6476—SEPT. 23, 1992 ' forefront of efforts to promote equal opportunity for persons with disabilities. Since I signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, 1990, scores of other nations have been motivated to reexamine the challenges faced by their citizens with disabilities. The ADA, which prohibits discrimination in employment, public accommodations, transportation, and communications, provides a model for people everywhere as it afHrms our commitment to ensuring that Americans with disabilities are not excluded from our Nation's cultural and economic mainstream. Ensuring equal opportunities for persons with disabilities is not only a serious moral and legal obligation, it is also good business sense. As we work to expand markets for U.S. goods and services and to strengthen America's competitiveness in an increasingly technological world, we must fully utilize our Nation's wealth of human capital. One-third of all Americans with disabilities who are of working age are currently employed. The other two-thirds constitute a vast, untapped source of knowledge, skills, and talent. In addition to being costly— today Americans spend more than $200 billion annually to support potentially productive people—such a waste of human ability stands in stark contrast to the American traditions of individual dignity and self- reliance and empowerment through opportunity and hard work. There are some 43 million Americans with disabilities in the United States, and the vast number of these individuals want very much to lead full, independent, and productive lives. To employ these determined candidates is to make a wise investment in our Nation's future. As we work to achieve harmonious implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we will open doors of opportunity for millions of people—thereby expanding the ranks of workers and consumers, which, in turn, generates productivity and proHts for business while enabling individuals and families to pursue the American Dream. I congratulate the business and industry leaders and community leaders from all walks of life who are working together to implement the ADA, and I pledge the total cooperation of the Federal Government. Our continuing progress is testimony both to the fundamental vitality and fairness of our free enterprise system and to our abiding commitment to liberty and justice for all. The Congress, by joint resolution approved August 11, 1945, as amended (36 U.S.C. 155), has called for the designation of October of each year as "National Disability Employment Awareness Month." This month is a special time for all Americans to recognize the tremendous potential of persons with disabilities and to renew our commitment to equal opportunity for them, as for every citizen. NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 1992 as National Disability Employment Awareness Month. I call on all Americans to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities that aftirm our determination to fulfill both the letter and the spirit of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty- third day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and