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For Immediate Release
Office of Media Affairs
May 10, 2001

A Progress Report on Fulfilling America's Promise to Americans with Disabilities

HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson recently joined Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez, Education Secretary Rod Paige and Office of Personnel Management Director Kay Coles James in highlighting the administration's commitment to the New Freedom Initiative, the President's comprehensive plan to reduce barriers to full community integration for people with disabilities.

Demonstrating that commitment, the administration released a progress report on accomplishments since the New Freedom Initiative was launched in February 2001. The report also outlines next steps that the administration will take toward meeting the New Freedom goals.

Many of the 54 million Americans with disabilities are deprived of their independence due to needless barriers. On February 1, 2001, President Bush announced his New Freedom Initiative to promote the full participation of people with disabilities in all areas of society by increasing access to assistive and universally designed technologies, expanding educational and employment opportunities, and promoting full access to community life. This report details the progress the Administration has made to implement the New Freedom Initiative goal - to ensure full integration of people with disabilities in American society.

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