pportunity is critical to what we have to do as a nation to meet the great challenges we face and to move forward into the next century. We will not allow Americans with disabilities to be kept from realizing their dreams by closed doors or narrow minds." .
President Bill Clinton
President Clinton is working to create greater opportunity for Americans with disabilities. He is making the government more accountable and more accessible to all Americans, including those with disabilities -- from the White House to every federal agency.
President Clinton has demonstrated an unprecedented commitment to address the concerns of Americans with disabilities by:
Vigorously enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and other critical civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities in schools, workplaces, and public areas across the nation. He is protecting these laws from attempts that would weaken them. Rejecting proposals that would end the Medicaid guarantee of meaningful health benefits to people with disabilities. The President has preserved Medicaid coverage for 6 million persons with disabilities, including 1 million children. Without Medicaid, many families might be forced into impoverishment to pay for a child's medical care, give up their jobs to stay home to care for a child, or pay for placement in an institution. Medicaid is often the only form of health care available to people with disabilities and allows many children and adults to receive services at home, rather than in institutions. Proposing a balanced budget that preserves health care benefits for 37 million Medicare beneficiaries, including 4.9 million Americans under the age of 65 with disabilities. The President's budget proposal imposes no new increases in Medicare premiums, ensures the fiscal integrity of the Medicare Trust Fund through the next decade, and saves $124 billion over the next seven years. Signing the Health Insurance Reform Act (Kennedy-Kassebaum Bill) which expands and protects access to health insurance by limiting exclusions for pre-existing conditions and allowing individuals to take their health insurance with them when they change or lose their jobs. Fighting to increase the focus of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act on outcomes for children and by cutting unnecessary paperwork. The Administration opposes weakening the guarantee of the right to education for children with disabilities. Spurring an increase in home- and community-based programs. Because of this Administration's greater flexibility in granting state waivers, the number of people with mental retardation and developmental disabilities served in home and in community waiver programs nearly doubled to 122,000 in 1994. Fighting for and enacting the Family and Medical Leave Act, making workplaces more accommodating to many families that include a child or adult with a disability. Vetoing a budget bill that would have significantly cut cash assistance to most families with disabled children on Social Security -- families who are struggling to care for a child at home and who face extra costs for home modification, equipment, and income lost because a parent is unable to work full-time. Enacting the National Voter Registration Act ("Motor-Voter" Bill) and Telecommunications Reform Act, making voting easier and communications technology more accessible. Helping to connect people with disabilities to employment, educational opportunities, and a full range of public activities by ensuring that the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for accessible bus and rail transit systems and paratransit services are fully implemented. Offering individuals with disabilities the opportunity to increase their independence through rehabilitation services and work incentive programs. Appointing a highly-qualified group of people with disabilities to high-level, policy-making positions, including many people from within the disability community. Many of these appointments are to key positions that are not directly related to disability.
Building on Our Progress
President Clinton is committed to the 49 million Americans with disabilities in their efforts to exercise their full rights and responsibilities, to live as independently as possible, and to be productive throughout their lives. The President will continue to fight for people with disabilities by:
Continuing to vigorously enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act, with a balanced approach that emphasizes voluntary compliance wherever possible.
Remaining committed to expanding employment options for people with disabilities and challenging all Americans to understand that having a disability does not mean being dependent and unproductive.
Working to maintain a strong Individuals with Disabilities Education Act for children with disabilities and to improve outcomes for students with disabilities.
Paid for by Clinton/Gore 96 General Committee, Inc.