Ronald Reagan picture

Proclamation 5371—National Employ the Handicapped Week, 1985

September 30, 1985

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Today disabled men and women are entering the American labor force in unprecedented numbers, finding personal fulfillment and contributing to our society and our economy. The reasons for this welcome development are not hard to find: enhanced enforcement of laws that prohibit discrimination against the handicapped; actions by employers to provide more accessible work places and transportation; improved education and training; more innovative job accommodations; and better attitudes toward the disabled. The most important reason of all is the outstanding work record people with disabilities are achieving at their jobs.

But none of this should make us complacent. Much remains to be done if we are to bring brighter days to all the disabled people of our country.

All of us must constantly strive for full acceptance of disabled people, so that we begin to see people rather than disabilities. We must first learn, and then seek to inculcate in others, especially the young, a deep respect for the human person, whatever that person's handicaps. By doing so, we reaffirm the timeless American principle of equality of opportunity and help build a future in which the unique attributes of every citizen are recognized and allowed to develop for the good of all.

The Congress, by Joint Resolution approved August 11, 1945, as amended (36 U.S.C. 155), has called for the designation of the first full week in October of each year as "National Employ the Handicapped Week." This special week is a time for all Americans to join together to renew their dedication to meeting the goal of full opportunities for disabled citizens.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate the week beginning October 6, 1985, as National Employ the Handicapped Week. I urge all governors, mayors, other public officials, leaders in business and labor, and private citizens to help meet the challenge of the future by ensuring that disabled people have the opportunity to participate fully in the economic life of the Nation.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and tenth.

Signature of Ronald Reagan


Ronald Reagan, Proclamation 5371—National Employ the Handicapped Week, 1985 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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