U.S. President Highlights Plight of Disabled Workers
Text of President Bush's statement to June 20 Summit on Employment, Washington, D.C., June 20, 2001:
Wherever possible, we should find ways to remove conflicts between home and work. For example, more workers should be able to take advantage of comp time. Federal workers already enjoy this privilege, and private-sector employees deserve the same. Many hard-working people would prefer to be able to choose a few extra days at home instead of a few extra dollars on payday. . . .
Until fairly recently, many Americans have never known paydays. . . . They have been denied jobs on account of a disability, and one of the great advances in our time is that persons with disabilities have been more welcomed in the workplace. But there is still more to do. . . .
I have sent to Congress a set of proposals called the New Freedom Initiative. . . . We'll help our fellow Americans gain greater access to assistive technology. We'll also help them gain access to public transportation and to the workplace itself, in keeping with the requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act.
I've also asked Congress to create a fund to help people with disabilities to buy the equipment they need to telecommute. We'll provide tax incentives to encourage employers to provide such equipment, and we'll protect home offices from needless OSHA regulations. Tens of millions of Americans today work out of their homes. For most, it's a convenience; for workers with disabilities, it is a revolution.