Proclamation 5472 -- National Barrier Awareness Day, 1986

May 7, 1986

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

Today some 36 million Americans suffer from some form of handicap. Eighty percent of Americans will experience some disability in their lifetime. That makes it necessary for all of us to understand and appreciate both the barriers they must surmount and the contributions that they can make to our society.

Many disabled people face financial, cultural, and physical barriers because of a lack of public understanding of their needs. We must become more aware of the barriers that prevent or inhibit so many of our fellow Americans from participating fully in the life of our society, and how much more they could contribute if those obstacles were removed.

This can begin with recognizing the outstanding achievements of many disabled citizens. These heroes, often unsung, have done much to enrich their lives and ours. Let us all resolve to act positively toward those who must cope with the challenge of physical handicaps. We all have much to gain if they are able to live up to their full potential.

The Congress, by House Joint Resolution 544, has designated May 7, 1986, as ``National Barrier Awareness Day'' and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this event.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 7, 1986, as National Barrier Awareness Day. I call upon my fellow citizens to observe this day with appropriate programs and activities.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this seventh day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and tenth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:42 a.m., May 9, 1986]

Note: The proclamation was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on May 8.