People with disabilities thank President Bush for the ADA

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Americans across the country continue to remember and honor former President George H.W. Bush; one group that is particularly thankful for Bush's life and accomplishments is people with disabilities.

On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act. The law bans discrimination based on disability and requires certain accommodations in public places.

"What President Bush did was to normalize things helping to create opportunities for people in terms of employment, in access to services. Of course, what we really saw, especially in major cities, was things like the implementation of ramps for curbs. Something that simple can literally change a life," said David person, communications director for Phoenix.

Phoenix in Huntsville's mission is to assist people, primarily those with disabilities, to improve the quality of their lives.

"What he did was create opportunities. Many of the people who work here at Phoenix are people that would not have jobs and opportunities, and wouldn't be able to take care of families and live normal lives if it weren't for what he did," Person said.

Person says that President 41 helped people to see the person before they saw the disability.

"They didn't understand, also, the reality that a person with a disability is no different than you or I other than the fact that they have this disability," Person said.

President Bush also helped change the conversation around what it means to be a person with a disability in our country.

WHNT News 19 asked one person, "if you could say one thing to President Bush right now what would it be?" His answer was, "Thank you for his service and for passing the ADA act."