Actor and disability rights advocate Selma Blair joined President Joe Biden in commemorating the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act. Blair, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2018, walked alongside Biden to a ceremony on the White House’s south lawn with her cane and her service dog, Scout. During the event, Blair displayed her comedic timing, causing laughter from the audience.
Blair expressed her pride as a disabled woman and shared her personal journey of self-advocacy and the challenges she faced before receiving a diagnosis. She also paid tribute to Judy Heumann, a renowned activist who played a crucial role in the passage of disability rights legislation.
President Biden praised Heumann’s impact and emphasized that progress often comes from the power of the people rather than those in power. He highlighted the significance of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 in promoting inclusivity and preventing discrimination against disabled individuals.
Biden emphasized that these laws provide opportunities for meaningful inclusion, participation, and respect, emphasizing the importance of treating all individuals with dignity. He stated that the American dream should be accessible to everyone, regardless of disability.
The ceremony took place in October, which is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Both acts received bipartisan support in Congress, reflecting their importance in creating a more equitable and inclusive society.