WASHINGTON, May 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Former President George Bush will join with the National Organization on Disability (N.O.D.) in hosting the Year 2000 Disability Conference. The conference, set for February 24-26, 2000, will be held at the George Bush Presidential Library Conference Center at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. The goal of the conference will be to develop a blueprint for how America can further the full and equal participation of America's 54 million men, women and children with disabilities in all aspects of life. The conference will include four sequential panels on employment, education, community life, and political participation. Panel discussions will focus on how to close the participation gaps in these areas of life. The backdrop for these discussions is the 1998 N.O.D./Louis Harris & Associate Survey of Americans with Disabilities, which uncovered that people with disabilities continue to lag considerably behind people without disabilities in participating in major life activities. Invited participants -- members of the Administration and other government officials, heads of foundations, the media, national disability leaders, community and business leaders -- include former U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh; Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Justin Dart; N.O.D. Vice Chairman Christopher Reeve; and Chairman, President and CEO of Provident Companies, Inc. J. Harold Chandler. The year 2000 will mark the tenth Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was signed into law by President Bush on July 26, 1990. The ADA provides civil rights protection for people with disabilities in employment, public accommodations, transportation, communication and in state and local government affairs. ADA implementation is proceeding; nevertheless, serious gaps in the levels of participation of people with disabilities in all aspects of life persist. President Bush stated, "I regard the ADA as one of the high points of my presidency. At this conference, we hope to identify steps that key sectors of society must take in the new millennium to realize the full and equal participation of people with disabilities in American life." The National Organization on Disability promotes the acceptance and full participation in all aspects of life for America's 54 million men, women and children with physical, sensory or mental disabilities. Founded in 1982, N.O.D. is concerned with all disabilities, all age groups and all disability issues. Through its network of 4,500 Community Partners in towns, cities and counties nationwide, N.O.D. promotes voluntary action, to expand opportunities for people with disabilities. For more information, please contact N.O.D. at (202) 293-5960, TDD (202) 293-5968 or visit them on the World Wide Web at www.nod.org.
SOURCE National Organization on Disability