National Employ The Handicapped Week, 1971
By the President of the United States of America
From Beethoven, who could not hear but gave the world magnificent symphonies, to Franklin Roosevelt, who could not walk but led America through giant strides in peace and war, history is full of proof that the whole of human potential is far greater than the sum of its physical parts—limbs or organs, or faculties.
It was in recognition of this truth, and of the Hebrew wisdom that "the best alms are . . . to enable a man to dispense with alms," that the President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped was established 24 years ago. For nearly a quarter century now, business, government, and the public have worked together as partners in this Committee—to open a newly self-reliant and fulfilling way of life for many thousands of handicapped men and women, and to unlock for the rest of us the benefits of the unique contribution each handicapped person has to make. Through such efforts, American society is learning that no handicap is insurmountable when a man has an unlimited view of himself and an ounce of help from his fellows.
This is a record to be proud of—and to build on still more energetically. Our responsibility to help provide training, jobs, and real opportunity for those who are handicapped as a result of accidents, birth defects, or disease, is a continuing challenge. In addition, we bear today the special trust of redeeming the sacrifices of our disabled veterans of the Vietnam era by giving them the very best in rehabilitation and employment assistance.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICHARD NIXON, President of the United States of America, in accordance with the joint resolution of Congress approved August 11, 1945, as amended (36 U.S.C. 155), designating the first full week of October of each year as National Employ the Handicapped Week, do hereby call upon the people of the United States to observe the week beginning October 3, 1971, for such purpose.
I urge the Nation's Governors, mayors, and all other public officials, as well as leaders in every area of American life, to join with the handicapped themselves in active participation in this observance.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this 13th day of August, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred ninety-sixth.