Memorandum from the President: Renewing the Commitment to Ensure that Federal Programs are Free from Disability-Based Discrimination (7/26/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

Immediate Release                             July 26, 2000

                          July 26, 2000


SUBJECT:       Renewing the Commitment to Ensure that Federal Programs are
               Free from Disability-Based Discrimination

On the 10th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), we
have much to celebrate.  This landmark civil rights law has increased
opportunities for employment, education, and leisure for millions of
Americans.  Our country is stronger as a result.

As we celebrate the ADA, we cannot forget that it was built on the solid
foundation of  the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Act) (29 U.S.C. 701 et seq
.), as amended, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability
in Federal programs and activities.  One important goal of the Act for the
Federal Government is to set an example for the rest of the country by
being a model employer and providing exemplary service to its customers
with disabilities.  While this goal remains constant, the nature and
structure of government have changed in the decades since the inception of
the Act.  New agencies have been formed, while others no longer exist.
Government is more efficient and doing more with less.

The time has come to reaffirm the Federal Government?s commitment to
ensuring that agencies? programs are free from discrimination.  The means
we use to accomplish our goals should be tailored to the changing nature of

I call upon the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Interagency Disability Coordinating
Council (IDCC), and the National Task Force on Employment of Adults with
Disabilities (Task Force) to provide leadership to Federal agencies in
meeting their common goal:  to ensure that today?s Federal programs,
including programs of employment, continue to be readily accessible to and
usable by persons with disabilities.

To meet this goal, I hereby direct the DOJ and the EEOC, in close
consultation with the IDCC and the Task Force, to develop priorities under
which agencies will focus on specific programs or types of programs to
ensure that they are readily accessible to persons with disabilities in
accordance with the requirements of sections 501, 504, and 508 of the Act
(29 U.S.C. 791, 794, 794d).  As the initial steps, agencies are directed to
do the following:

     (a)  Make all programs offered on their Internet and Intranet sites
     accessible to people with disabilities by July 27, 2001, consistent
     with the requirements of the Act and subject to the availability of
     appropriations and technology; and

     (b)  Publish by various means, including by incorporation on all
     agency Internet home pages, the name and contact information for the
     office(s) responsible for coordinating the agency?s compliance with
     sections 501 and 504 of the Act (29 U.S.C. 791, 794).

I direct the IDCC to coordinate executive agencies? efforts to make the
Federal Government?s electronic and information technology accessible to
persons with disabilities.

I designate the Administrator of General Services and the Secretary of
Defense to participate in the IDCC, in addition to those members set out by
statute (29 U.S.C. 794c).

These steps will enable Federal agencies to work together as they renew
their ongoing commitment to ensure that Federal programs do not
discriminate against people on the basis of disability.

Nothing in this memorandum is intended in any way to limit the effect or
mandate of Executive Order 12250 of November 2, 1980, which conveys certain
authorities upon the Attorney General, or Executive Order 12067 of June 30,
1978, which conveys certain authorities upon the Chair of the EEOC.

This memorandum is for the internal management of the executive branch and
does not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural,
enforceable by a party against the United States, its agencies or
instrumentalities, its officers or employees, or any other person.

                              WILLIAM J. CLINTON

                                 # # #

President and First Lady | Vice President and Mrs. Gore
Record of Progress | The Briefing Room
Gateway to Government | Contacting the White House | White House for Kids
White House History | White House Tours | Help
Privacy Statement


Site Map

Graphic Version

T H E   W H I T E   H O U S E