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Public Papers - 1992 - October

Statement on Signing the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1992

1992-10-29

Today I am signing into law H.R. 5482, the ``Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1992.'' H.R. 5482 extends and improves important programs under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a law that directly affects the lives of millions of Americans with disabilities. I am particularly pleased that major provisions contained in the Administration's proposal for reauthorization of the Act are included in the bill.

The scope of the Rehabilitation Act is broad. It provides for partnerships among the Federal, State, and private sectors to help Americans with disabilities participate more fully in the economic and social life of our Nation. Vocational rehabilitation, client assistance, independent living services and centers, and projects with industry are only some of the activities authorized under the Act.

Increased emphasis on program results, provider accountability, and client choice are the hallmarks of H.R. 5482. The Act requires that performance indicators and evaluation standards be developed for the .8 billion Basic State Grant program. These requirements are the key to ensuring continuing improvements in services provided under the largest program in the Act. This legislation will further our efforts to make consumer choice a tool for strengthening government services. Additional reforms afford clients a greater voice in their rehabilitation plans and authorize the Secretary of Education to demonstrate other ways in which client choice of services and providers can be increased in vocational rehabilitation. Finally, the Act authorizes model projects that give underemployed workers with disabilities the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills they need to advance.

Just over 2 years ago, I signed into law the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which marked the end of the wrongful segregation and exclusion of individuals with disabilities from the mainstream of American life. In signing H.R. 5482, I am pleased once again to emphasize my commitment to ending discrimination against Americans with disabilities and ensuring their full integration into our Nation's workplaces and communities.

George Bush

The White House,

October 29, 1992.

Note: H.R. 5482, approved October 29, was assigned Public Law No. 102 - 569.

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