Remarks on Signing a Proclamation Designating 1981 as the International Year of Disabled Persons

February 6, 1981

I'm going to sign a proclamation here.

Few, if any, resources offer more potential, I think, than our 35 million disabled Americans. Too often they are relegated to the sidelines in spite of, in many cases, outstanding abilities. The International Year of Disabled Persons is an excellent example of how partnerships work.

Our Federal interagency task force of Government employees on special assignment has done an outstanding job. Alan Reich and David Kearns have demonstrated the best of American resourcefulness in establishing the private sector U.S. Council for the International Year of Disabled Persons. They've done this to assist the disabled in accomplishing their own goals.

I'm proud to participate in this International Year to help increase the awareness of each and every one of us, to commit that we'll make that extra effort in 1981 to assist our disabled in moving into the mainstream of American life. It takes so little, and it offers the promise of so much, because our most valuable resource is our people.

I was very proud in California that we started a program that did so much and to see people who had previously been sidelined actually involved and self-sufficient in contributing to our welfare and to society.

So, with that, I shall now with great pleasure sign this proclamation.

Note: The President spoke at 11:45 a.m. at the signing ceremony in the Oval Office at the White House.