President Obama on Disabilities

“We must build a world free of unnecessary barriers, stereotypes, and discrimination…. policies must be developed, attitudes must be shaped, and buildings and organizations must be designed to ensure that everyone has a chance to get the education they need and live independently as full citizens in their communities.”

— Barack Obama, April 11, 2008

What I find interesting about this quote is that President Obama seems to understand the issue.  He’s not talking about more handouts to people with disabilities; he’s talking about removing barriers.  If you aren’t going to offer help, then at least get out of the way.

“The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works….”

UPDATE

Proposed ADA Regulations Withdrawn from OMB Review

On January 21, 2009, the Department of Justice notified the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that the Department has withdrawn its draft final rules to amend the Department’s regulations implementing title II and title III from the OMB review process. This action was taken in response to a memorandum from the President’s Chief of Staff directing the Executive Branch agencies to defer publication of any new regulations until the rules are reviewed and approved by officials appointed by President Obama. No final action will be taken by the Department with respect to these rules until the incoming officials have had the opportunity to review the rulemaking record. Incoming officials will have the full range of rule-making options available to them under the Administrative Procedure Act.

Withdrawal of the draft final rules does not affect existing ADA regulations. Title II and title III entities must continue to follow the Department’s existing ADA regulations, including the ADA Standards for Accessible Design.

I’m a bit disappointed.  We have been waiting for more than 4 years for the revised ADA Guidelines.  I just hope the new guys don’t hold it up for another 4 years.

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