Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill for the Elimination of Architectural Barriers to the Handicapped in Public Buildings.
WHEN an old and infirm citizen cannot use the post office in his community because he is unable to climb its steps, his government has failed him.
When a poor man who also bears the burden of being crippled cannot move his family into decent public housing because his physical handicaps bar him from the project's stairway and elevators, his government has failed him and his children as well.
These tragic conditions are realities. Today, 20 million Americans--because of their physical difficulties--are limited in their access to public buildings.
The bill I sign now will end this needless and cruel discrimination.
It will assure that architectural barriers to the handicapped are eliminated in all buildings constructed with public funds from this day on--and will correct many of the errors of the past. It will put that extra handrail, that ramp, that specially operated door where they are needed most.
This is not legislation that costs a lot of money. Providing accommodations in federally financed buildings for those with physical disabilities will increase construction costs less than 1 percent.
But it is humane legislation--which had the unanimous support of both Houses of Congress.
I am pleased and proud to sign it into law.
Note: As enacted, the bill (S. 222) is Public Law 90-480 (82 Stat. 718), approved on August 12, 1968.
The statement was released at Austin, Texas.
Lyndon B. Johnson, Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill for the Elimination of Architectural Barriers to the Handicapped in Public Buildings. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/237697