George H.W. Bush was a champion for people with disabilities #championsofdiversity

George HW Bush ADA

As vice president and later as commander in chief, Bush helped oversee the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

George H.W. Bush, who died on Friday at age 94, was probably best remembered, legislatively, for his 1990 budget deal. But for many in the disability community, he is remembered for another bill passed that year: the Americans With Disabilities Act.

A monumental piece of legislation that prohibited discrimination against those with physical and intellectual disabilities, the act that Bush signed was seen as the equivalent of the Civil Rights Act for individuals with disabilities.

To better understand why Bush is remembered as a champion by many in that community, I spoke with Lex Frieden, a professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, the then-director of the National Council on Disability, and one of the architects of the law. I spoke with him about Bush’s role in the legislation, which he began as vice president and signed into law as president. (read more)

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