National Disability Association to Award National Democratic Whip at ADA Celebration during the Democratic National Convention

July 21, 2004


Kim E. Musheno
Director of Public Policy
301-588-8252
kmusheno@aucd.org

SILVER SPRING, MD (July 21, 2004)- July 26th is the 14th anniversary of the ADA. To celebrate this landmark legislation, the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) has joined the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and fifteen other national sponsors plus local disability rights organizations to honor public officials who are disability rights champions. Elected officials will be honored from both the Democratic and Republican parties in conjunction with their respective conventions. AUCD is pleased and honored to announce that it will be presenting one of the disability champions awards to Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-5th MD) at the Boston event.

"As a 12-term Member of the House and Democratic Whip since January 2003, Rep. Hoyer has been a long-time champion for children and adults with disabilities and their families. In 1990, it was Rep. Hoyer who shepherded the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) to an overwhelming victory in the House and subsequent final passage. The ADA was signed into law on July 26, 1990. Rep. Hoyer has been a champion of civil rights laws, education for children with disabilities, early head start and early intervention, assistive technology, and a stalwart supporter of funding for the Developmental Disabilities Act programs and the Assistive Technology Act programs. For these reasons and many more, AUCD is thrilled to honor Rep. Steny Hoyer as a disability champion," said Association President David Johnson. Most recently, Mr. Hoyer has championed the Help American Vote Act (HAVA), signed into law in October 2002. "This law has been called the most significant piece of civil rights law since the Voting Rights Act, and we believe, will play a tremendous role in helping people with disabilities achieve full participation in the voting process," stated Johnson.

George Jesien, Executive Director of AUCD, will present the award to Hoyer. "Children and adults with disabilities and their families in Maryland and throughout the country have better lives and greater access to the opportunities that this country provides its citizens because of the leadership and tireless efforts of Congressman Hoyer," added Jesien.

The first ADA Awards Ceremony and Celebration will be held on Monday, July 26, 2004 from 2:00 to 5:00 pm at WGBH Studio A, located at 125 Western Avenue in Allston, Massachusetts. Confirmed speakers include the following: Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly; Ted Kennedy, Jr. (Master of Ceremonies); Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA); Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI); Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA); Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA); Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD); Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND); and other state and national political leaders. A second event will be held during the Republican National Convention on September 1, 2004 at the Time Warner Building in New York City. Honorees will be announced soon.

The Association of University Centers on Disabilities, located in Silver Spring, MD, is a non-profit organization that promotes and supports the national network of interdisciplinary centers advancing policy and practices through research, education and services for and with individuals with developmental and other disabilities, their families, and communities.
For any questions about these events, please contact Kim Musheno at 301-588-8252 or kmusheno@aucd.org.