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WHEREAS, 2018 marks the 34th anniversary of the Virginians with Disabilities Act and the 29th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act; and
WHEREAS, the Virginians with Disabilities Act, passed in March of 1985, declared that the Commonwealth’s policy encourages and enables persons with disabilities to participate fully and equally in the social and economic life of the Commonwealth and to engage in remunerative employment; and
WHEREAS, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed July 26, 1990, to ensure the civil rights of citizens with disabilities; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Virginia affirms the principles of equality and inclusion for persons with disabilities as set forth in the Virginians with Disabilities Act and embodied in the Americans with Disabilities Act; and
WHEREAS, the Virginians with Disabilities Act protected Virginians with disabilities from discrimination under any state program or activity, by employers in hiring and promotion, by educational institutions receiving state funds, in the use of public places and in places of public accommodation, in housing, and in the exercise of the right to vote; and
WHEREAS, the Virginians with Disabilities and the Americans with Disabilities Acts ensure the civil rights and empowerment of persons with disabilities and allow them to be contributing members of their communities; and
WHEREAS, both acts ensure maximum integration of all persons with disabilities and are touchstones for developing leaders; and
WHEREAS, state agencies and numerous organizations throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia work with constituents and communities to bring to fruition the promise of hope, inclusion and independence envisioned with the passage of the Virginians with Disabilities and the Americans with Disabilities Acts; and
WHEREAS, in 2019, the Commonwealth of Virginia celebrates the barriers that came down 34 years ago in Virginia and 29 years ago across the nation;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize 2019 as the COMMEMORATION OF THE 34TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE VIRGINIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AND THE 29TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.