By the President of the United States of America
The past decade has been marked by significant advances for handicapped people.
Such laws as the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protect many handicapped individuals from discrimination in employment and services. Handicapped workers have made great progress in entering the job market, and those already in the labor force are moving up to better jobs. More of our Nation's buildings and public transportation systems are being made accessible. Many handicapped individuals have been moving out of institutions into homes, apartments, and community facilities which facilitate independent living. As handicapped individuals move into the mainstream of society, more and more of their fellow citizens are overcoming their prejudices and seeing handicapped individuals as people.
Yet much remains to be done. Many qualified handicapped people, including many disabled veterans, are unemployed or underemployed, and others are not promoted because of discriminatory attitudes rather than an inability to perform. Many buildings still have thoughtless architectural barriers that prevent handicapped persons from getting jobs and education. Public transportation is still not available to all handicapped individuals.
This country needs the creativity, skill and participation of all our citizens. To affirm our commitment to equality for the handicapped members of our society, the Congress, by joint resolution of August 11, 1945, as amended (36 U.S.C. 155), has called for the designation of the first full week in October 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 on October 7, 1979, as National Employ the Handicapped Week. I urge all Governors, Mayors, other public officials, leaders in business and labor, and private citizens at all levels of responsibility to help remove all barriers which prevent handicapped individuals from obtaining productive employment and from participating fully in other aspects of American life.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have here-unto set my hand this thirteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fourth.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 1:59 p.m., September 14, 1979]