National Association of the Deaf

President Obama Honors ADA Anniversary

On Friday, July 24, 2009, President Obama celebrated the 19th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with an announcement of his intention to sign the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Obama also met privately with 12 representatives from the disability community and Administration officials.

The ceremony took place in the East Room of the White House with disability rights champions and advocates. The NAD was represented at the ceremony by members Howard Rosenblum, senior attorney at Equip for Equality and chair of the NAD public policy committee, and Jeff Rosen, former general counsel and director of policy of the National Council on Disability and currently general counsel and vice president of governmental affairs at Snap!VRS.

Jeff Rosen also attended a private meeting with the President and Administration officials prior to the ceremony. During that meeting, the President noted a wide-ranging agenda that included employment, education, technology, health care, and civil rights policy. Disability advocates emphasized the importance of seeing disability policy issues as fundamentally about fairness, civil rights and human rights. They expressed their desire to work with the White House and federal agencies on a broad-based strategy towards achieving the goals of the ADA in recognition of next year’s 20th anniversary.

Earlier in the week, Nancy Bloch, chief executive officer of the NAD, participated in the ADA anniversary celebration event at the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, DC, sponsored by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).

The NAD was invited to a reception on July 30, 2009 at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York City, to commemorate the occasion of the signing of the CPRD by President Obama. Alexis Kashar, chair of the NAD civil rights committee, will represent the NAD at this event.

Read more about the AAPD ADA Anniversary Event

Watch the video (captioned) of Secretary of State Clinton's introduction and President Obama's speech

Read President Obama's speech

Learn more about the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Watch the video (ASL) of remarks by Howard Rosenblum, Chris Kearney, and Jeff Rosen following the White House CPRD ceremony (our blogsite)

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