Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama commemorated Monday's 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act by signing an executive order to increase government employment of disabled people.
"Not dependence but independence: That's what the ADA was all about," Obama said at a White House reception attended by several hundred guests, including Cabinet members, legislators and activists for the disabled.
The law, which President George H.W. Bush signed July 26, 1990, is credited with smashing barriers and creating opportunities for the disabled in a nation where more than 3 million people 15 and older use wheelchairs.
It prohibits discrimination against disabled people, guaranteeing them equal opportunity in employment, transportation, government services and other areas.