By the President of the United States of America
America needs the talents and energies of all her citizens, including the physically and mentally handicapped. But many handicapped people have been kept from full participation in our society. To the handicaps they must overcome have been added the barriers of an environment constructed without them in mind, a lack of equal education, and exclusion from rewarding and useful employment.
In recent months, however, progress has been dramatic. New laws are promoting equality for handicapped people. The recent White House Conference on Handicapped Individuals stimulated plans for the future. New ideas in education, housing, jobs, and transportation are adding to the opportunities for handicapped people to be independent, to lead fuller lives and to contribute to society. In support of these goals, I have asked the heads of Executive departments and agencies to set an example for fair employment practices by demonstrating what can be done to make the fullest possible use of the abilities of qualified handicapped people.
To affirm our commitment to the handicapped, the Congress, by joint resolution of August 11, 1945, as amended (36 U.S.C. 155), has called for the designation of the first week in October of each year as National Employ the Handicapped Week.
Now, THEREFORE, I, JIMMY CARTER, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate the week beginning October 2, 1977, as National Employ the Handicapped Week. I urge all Governors, Mayors, and other public officials, leaders in business and labor, and private citizens to take affirmative action to ensure equal employment opportunities for handicapped people and to join during this week and afterwards to work toward full equality in all aspects of American life.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this 27th day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and second.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 3:20 p.m., September 27, 1977]