CNN: Gov. Tom Ridge Remembers President George H.W. Bush’s Commitment to Disability Inclusion
December 4, 2018 – Today, the National Organization on Disability’s Chairman, Gov. Tom Ridge, spoke to CNN about former President George H.W. Bush’s legacy of supporting the rights of people with disabilities.
John Berman, host of New Day, the network’s flagship morning program, replayed a conversation from 2015 between Gov. Ridge and President Bush, who graciously served as NOD’s Honorary Chairman for over twenty years, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The Americans with Disabilities Act “might’ve been the thing of which [George H.W. Bush] was most proud of, because he elevated the rights of people with disabilities,” says Tom Ridge, former Pennsylvania governor and former Homeland Security secretary https://t.co/yDXaMrecZV pic.twitter.com/ZdQ4DFdQHL
— New Day (@NewDay) December 4, 2018
In that commemorative interview, President Bush remarked that signing the historic civil right legislation was “something I’m very proud of, perhaps proudest of when I was president.”
Gov. Ridge recalled how his historic speech upon signing the act into law, urged the business community to take advantage of “untapped human potential” by hiring those with disabilities.
President Bush remarked, “I think people have a wrong impression sometimes. They see disability, and they think that person with disability is less able to do this job. That’s not fair and that’s not right.”
In commenting on Bush’s “historic contributions”, Ridge recounted to Berman how the former president’s deft political touch allowed him to garner bi-partisan support for the ADA, which went on to forever change the lives of millions of Americans with disabilities.
In a personal statement remembering his friend, Ridge said: “I mourn the passing of a great man who was beloved by a nation and respected by the world. A man guided by decency and humility. George H.W. Bush lived a life of service that few others ever have.”
View the conversation with President George H.W. Bush and Gov. Tom Ridge on the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act from 2015: