President Bush on Thursday signed the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, a little more than 18 years after his father signed the original ADA. Bush’s father stood by his side as his son signed the bill into law. Barack Obama, one of the bill’s co-sponsor’s, made a statement saying “it must be a priority for our government to do everything it can to protect and respect the needs of these Americans….Eighteen years ago, enacting the Americans with Disabilities Act was a historic milestone for millions of Americans when it was signed into law. It gave Americans with disabilities better access, more opportunities, and increased independence…While we still have much more to do, this law is an important affirmation of our commitment to Americans with disabilities.”
For the record, McCain is a supporter of the 1990 law. Palin, who has a son with Down Syndrome, says she will work to “speed research” up. But it is unlikely that this will include more NIH funding and a reversal of the prohibition of stem-cell research if they make it to the White House. We also need health care plans that won’t allow coverage to be leveraged merely for corporate profit.
Obama is the right person to jumpstart the conversation with businesses who can hire PWDs and with technology companies that can make simple adaptions in order for their products to be used universally. I also believe Obama understands from life experience what it’s like to be marginalized, but also recognizes that American is a place of tremendous opportunity when you’re given the tools to succeed.
And the debate is on again!!