Remembering George H.W. Bush and ADA

Go Lean Commentary

Old age is justice; it is when able-bodied people and disabled people become equally disabled.

We are being reminded of this sad reality of aging by the life-and-death of the 41st President of United States of America. At the end of his life, this able-bodied man (former war hero) was bound to a wheelchair.

The United States is mourning the death of its ex-president (1989 – 1993), George H. W. Bush. Wednesday December 5, 2018 is set-aside as the National Day of Mourning.

“The best 1 term president in the history of the country” – as declared by George W. Bush, the eldest son and subsequent president (#43 2001 – 2009).

Who’s best? Who’s the greatest? These are all questions for historians to consider. But for one group of Americans – Persons with Disabilities – they will surely concur with the “best” and “greatest” tag to George H.W. Bush because of one reason, his passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The book Go Lean…Caribbean – available to download for free – presents this landmark ADA legislation as a model for emulation and adoption in the Caribbean. The book provided this ADA summary (Page 228):

The Bottom Line on the American with Disabilities Act (ADA)
This Act is a law that was enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1990. It was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H. W. Bush, and later amended with changes effective January 1, 2009. The ADA is a wide-ranging civil rights law that prohibits, under certain circumstances, discrimination based on disability. It affords similar protections against discrimination to Americans with disabilities as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which made discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, and other characteristics illegal. Disability is defined by the ADA as “…a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.” The determination of whether any particular condition is considered a disability is made on a case by case basis. Certain specific conditions are excluded as disabilities, such as current substance abuse and visual impairment that is correctable by prescription lenses. [ADA is based on the premise of] reasonable accommodation – an adjustment made in a system to “accommodate” or make fair the same system for an individual based on a proven need. Accommodations can be religious, academic, or employment related. This provision is also prominent in international law as the United Nations has codified the principle in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. [There are many international signatories to these principles and resolutions].

The ADA allows private plaintiffs to receive only injunctive relief (a court order requiring the public accommodation to remedy violations of the accessibility regulations) and attorneys’ fees, and does not provide monetary rewards to private plaintiffs who sue non-compliant businesses. Unless a state law provides for monetary damages to private plaintiffs, qualified claimants do not obtain direct financial benefits from suing entities that violate the ADA. [Thus, no “professional plaintiffs”!]

Listen to this relevant AUDIO Podcast from today (December 3, 2018):

AUDIO Podcast – Americans With Disabilities Act Signed By George H.W. Bush Expanded Rights Of Millions –

Published December 3, 2018 – President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law in 1990. It was landmark legislation that expanded rights and protections for millions of people. Bush, who died Friday at age 94, played a key role in its passage.

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson talks with Marian Vessels, director of the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center in Maryland, who was at the ADA’s signing.

Unfortunately, the Caribbean has a terrible track record for accommodating Persons with Disabilities. The Go Lean book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines for all citizens and visitors.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The book stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):

ix. Whereas the realities of healthcare and an aging population cannot be ignored and cannot be afforded without some advanced mitigation, the Federation must arrange for health plans to consolidate premiums of both healthy and sickly people across the wider base of the entire Caribbean population. The mitigation should extend further to disease management, wellness, mental health, obesity and smoking cessation programs. …

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xviii. Whereas all citizens in the Federation member-states may not have the same physical abilities, reasonable accommodations must be made so that individuals with physical and mental disabilities can still access public and governmental services so as to foster a satisfactory pursuit of life’s liberties and opportunities for happiness.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society – to benefit all people, able-bodied and the disabled. One specific advocacy addresses the needs of Persons with Disabilities. See the sample plans, excerpts and headlines from the book on Page 228 entitled:

10 Ways to Impact Persons with Disabilities

1 Lean-in for Treaty for a Caribbean Single Market
This treaty allows for the unification of the region into one market, thereby expanding to an economy of 26 countries, 42 million people and a GDP of over $800 Billion (per 2010). The CU will empower and enhance the economic engines for the participation and benefit of all people; this includes the number of citizens that may have some physical (deaf, blind, lame, etc.) or mental challenges. The CU’s vision is that this sector represents a critical talent pool that is underserved and underutilized. They will be included in this CU movement, with a Caribbean [Persons] with Disabilities (CDA) provision embedded in the treaty. In addition, to the economic missions, the treaty also establishes a security pact, with the mission to fortify homeland security and to mitigate regional threats including a strategic gun control policy.
2 Cruise Ships and Disability Tourism
Since most western democracies have Reasonable Accommodation provisions for their citizenry, many disabled people in the US, Canada and EU countries live full-functioning lives with jobs, disposable income and the manifestation of vacation needs. The CU will incentivize the Cruise industry and tourism properties to make their own “reasonable accommodations” to cater to persons with disabilities. This also applies to the Elder-Care population.
3 Public Transportation and Public Accommodations – Assurance on CU facilities
4 Government Buildings and Proceedings
5 Mental Disabilities and Gun Control
6 Tele-type Call Center Access
The CU advocates e-Government and e-Delivery of government services, therefore call centers will be a primary feature for service delivery. To accommodate deaf residents, guests and trading partners, the CU call centers will be equipped with “Tele-type” terminals and agents with related certifiable skills (including 911).
7 Autism Awareness – Opt-Out Accommodations
8 Braille Websites
9 Closed Captioning … for Television
As the regulator for cross-border radio spectrum, the CU’s Media Regulatory Authority will mandate that all broadcasters provide a closed-captioning option on their channels. This enables the hearing-impaired to have full access.
10 Public Awareness Campaign – Improve Image

The Go Lean movement (book and blogs) have maintained that there must always be the empowerments for Persons with Disabilities. This cannot be left to chance; it must be enacted in law. Thank you for this model President George H.W. Bush. The need for Caribbean empowerments for Persons with Disabilities has been alluded to in many previous blog-commentaries; consider this sample: Repairing the Breach: Mental Health Realities

Mental Health is a real concern for the population in general and for men in particular. One of the biggest problems is that men rarely want to admit to any problems or seek any help. Yet, the evidence of dysfunction is there: 1. Substance Abuse (Drugs and Alcohol) 2. Suicide Managing the ‘Strong versus the Weak’ – Mental Disabilities

The creed to protect the Weak from being abused by the Strong is age-old as an honor code. All societies have those that are mentally weak; the Social Contract must allow for protection and remediation of these ones. Managing the ‘Strong versus the Weak’ – Model of Hammurabi

In every society, there are those that are able-bodied and those that are disabled. so there is the need for the authorities to ensure that the “strong should not harm the weak”. This is the legacy of the 3,800 year-old Hammurabi Code. Role Model – #FatGirlsCan

The Go Lean movement campaigns for reasonable accommodations so that persons in the Caribbean that are differently-abled can live a full and engaging life … and help to elevate their communities. This difference also includes those who are “fat”, overweight or obese. The Demographic Theory of Elderly Suicide

Failures in health delivery results in suicides. Among senior citizens, this prevalence is due to the fact that they may not consider themselves as relevant in modern society. We can learn from others on health remediation and solutions for Caribbean senior citizens. Role Model of a Disability Advocate: Reasonable Accommodations

With just a reasonable accommodation, persons with disabilities can live a full and engaging life … and help to elevate their communities and make “home” better places to live, work and play. Recessions and Public Physical and Mental Health

Mental Health disorders can spark when the economy sours. Public Health officials need to be “on guard” for Mental Health fallout during periods of economic recession. New Hope in the Fight against Alzheimer’s Disease

Everyone ages, and so Alzheimer’s disease is a guaranteed risk in every community. This is a Mental Health reality that must be planned for, so as to ensure the best outcomes for communities.

As related above, American society is at the matured level now in their Social Contract deliveries. They now expect the standard to be “reasonable accommodations” so that Persons with Disabilities can participate in and contribute to society. This was not always the case, and then George H.W. Bush came along and forge change in American society. This is not the standard in the Caribbean member-states … yet. But part of this reboot effort – the quest of the Go Lean roadmap – is to reform and transform the societal engines to benefit all members of the community, able-bodied or not.

President Bush’s motives with the ADA efforts where not selfish; his legacy of public service is being lauded today leading up to his National Hero’s Funeral. But lo and behold, at the end of his life, he needed the reasonable accommodations he enshrined into law.

In the Caribbean, we need to apply this same lesson: even able-bodied people become disabled; therefore reasonable accommodations need to be ensured in society. Yes, we can benefit ourselves from such empowerments. This will make our homeland a better place to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.

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