Bush Foundation + NOD Mark the ADA at 30 with Presidents Barack Obama & George H.W. Bush, Senior Government Officials and Disability Leaders

Jul 22, 2020

George & Barbara Bush Foundation logo

Online Event for the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act


On Tuesday July 21st, the George & Barbara Bush Foundation and NOD convened key activists, advocates and policymakers who helped make the Americans with Disabilities Act a reality for a bipartisan celebration of that landmark civil rights legislation – and, equally important, to focus on the challenges that will shape the future of the disability movement. The 90-minute online program, titled “Let the Shameful Wall of Exclusion Come Down,” taken from President Bush’s remarks on July 26, 1990 as he signed the ADA,was moderated by Judy Woodruff, the managing editor and anchor of PBS’ NewsHour.

The National Organization on Disability and Lex Frieden of TIRR Memorial Hermann worked closely with the Bush Foundation in planning this year’s commemoration, which also featured guest appearances from President Barack Obama; President George H.W. Bush; Sen. Bob Dole; President Bush’s former White House advisors C. Boyden Gray and Governor John Sununu; Carolyn Osolinik, former Chief Counsel for Senator Edward Kennedy; Rep. Tony Coelho; Charles F. Lowrey, Chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial; Audrey Coleman of the Dole Institute; NOD’s Chairman Gov. Tom Ridge, President Carol Glazer, and Chief of Staff Moeena Das; actor Danny Woodburn; Northrop Grumman Senior Engineer William Tipper Thomas; Jack Chen, Product Counsel Google; activist Jim LaBrecht; and filmmaker Nicole Newnham.

Plus, contributions from many other organizations, including: Higher Ground Productions‘ Netflix documentary “Crip Camp”; the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate; the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas; and the Harkin Institute at Drake University.

“President Bush fervently believed in and worked for the ideals of the ADA to help make it reality, but he always recognized that landmark civil rights legislation could not have become law without the courage of so many activists and the dedication of legislators and policymakers on both sides of the political aisle,” said Andy Card, Interim CEO of the George & Barbara Bush Foundation. “He would also be the first to say that this vital work is not finished, which is why our ‘Let the Shameful Wall of Exclusion Come Down’ event will also have a robust conversation on the challenges disabled American citizens still face today. George Bush would want us to be focused on working together to find solutions.”

“President Bush knew that our success in the world depends on how well we inspire and put to use the talents and energies of every person in this country,” said Tom Ridge, Chairman of the National Organization on Disability. “It was his vision that no ability is to be wasted, and that everyone has a full and equal chance to play a part in our national progress. There is still much work left to do to see his vision fulfilled, and we hope this program will inspire corporate leaders to up their game and hire more people with disabilities.”

Event Partners:

Logos of National Organization on Disability; TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation & Research; Edward M. Kennedy Institute; Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics, The University of Kansas; The Harkin Institute; Higher Ground.
National Organization on Disability; TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation & Research; Edward M. Kennedy Institute; Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics, The University of Kansas; The Harkin Institute; Higher Ground.

A recording of the event will be posted here shortly.

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