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Americans Disabilities Act Turns 10

At a ceremony from the FDR Memorial on Wednesday, President Clinton marked the 10th anniversary of the Americans Disability Act law by ordering federal agencies to hire 100,000 people with disabilities over the next five years.

The law ensures that disabled Americans "can live like people".

"They want sympathy, no, self determination, yes," President Clinton said. "They don't want excuses. Instead, they want opportunity in terms of jobs and careers."

The White House said the move would exceed current federal hiring trends by 60 percent.

CBS News Capitol Hill Correspondent Bob Fuss reports that in connection with the 10th anniversary of the ADA, a Harris Survey was taken for the National Organization on Disability with some interesting findings.

National Organization On Disability
  • Only 32% of working age people with disabilities are employed compared with 81% of those without disabilities.
  • Unable to work included
  • 56% able to work (full or part-time),
  • Improved compared to 1986 when 46% said they could work.
  • 29% of disabled people live in poverty, compared with 10 percent of those without disabilities.
  • While nine percent of Americans in general fail to complete high school, 22% of disabled drop out.
  • 30% of disabled people had a problem finding adequate transportation and fewer of them vote than those without disabilities.

Source: Harris Survey

President Clinton also unveiled a new Web site that would provide disabled people and their families with information on a variety of topics, such as employment, entrepreneurship, transportation, health care, education and support services.

"A lot of what the Americans with Disabilities Act is all about is to make sure that people can live like people, can do things other folks take for granted," Clinton said. "When you look at the young people on this stage, you know you have given them a better today. We should leave here committed to giving them a better tomorrow."

First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton announced a new "youth to work initiative" to help ease the transition from school to work for disabled young people.

"Passing the ADA was the beginning, not the end, of our commitment to ensure all people have the rights they are entitled to," Mrs. Clinton said. "We have a new generatioof Americans who want to work, expect to work, are graduating from high school, going to college."

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