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The President's New Freedom Initiative: The 2007 Progress Report

Executive Summary

The President’s New Freedom Initiative for People with Disabilities:
The 2007 Progress Report


Announced in February, 2001, the New Freedom Initiative is President George W. Bush’s plan to tear down barriers to full integration into American life that remain for many of the 54 million Americans with disabilities.  This report highlights the many accomplishments of the Administration in implementing the President’s vision and builds upon the reports issued in May 2002 and May 2004. 

Increasing Access Through Technology

The President recognizes the power of assistive and universally designed technology to create greater access to the workplace, school, and community life for persons with disabilities.  The Administration supports the development of creative ways to leverage the power of new technologies and the removal of financial barriers to acquisition of assistive technology.  The Administration has:

Expanding Educational Opportunities for Youth with Disabilities

The President recognizes that people with disabilities need a complete and appropriate education in order to join their communities as equal members.  In order to further this goal and ensure that no child with a disability is left behind in the educational system, the President has:

Agencies have responded to the President’s direction and furthered his agenda in the following ways:

Integrating Americans with Disabilities into the Workforce

The unemployment rate for persons with disabilities, while falling, remains unacceptably high.  The President believes that full inclusion of persons with disabilities into the workforce is an important goal not only because of the positive impact this will have on the worker, but also because of the benefits to the economy as a whole as production increases and people begin to leave government assistance.  The Administration has:

Promoting Full Access to Community Life

The President believes that all Americans deserve an opportunity to become a part of the American dream: to vote, to participate in the marketplace, to own their own property, and to go about their business free of attitudinal and architectural barriers to full participation.  This commitment includes implementation of the Olmstead decision affirming the right of persons with disabilities to live in their own communities, and goes further by creating new initiatives to promote community participation.  The Administration has:


The President’s vision for people with disabilities is not yet achieved, and continuing to implement the provisions of his New Freedom Initiative remains one of his highest domestic priorities.  The Administration, through the programs outlined in this document and others, will aggressively pursue innovative strategies to ensure that people with disabilities are included in the American Dream, and empowered to reach their full educational, social, and professional goals.

Table of frequently-used abbreviations

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