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30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, July 22, 2020

Dear Smith Community,

Thirty years ago, on July 26th, 1990 in a rose garden ceremony at the White House, then President Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law. As he raised his pen to sign the act he famously said “let the shameful walls of exclusion finally come tumbling down.”

In the 30 years since, there have been profound changes in American society and at Smith College; however I would like to note that the work of being fully inclusive is never complete. On such an important anniversary, we can take pause to celebrate and honor the dedication and hard work of our faculty, staff, students and alumnae who have made Smith as accessible as it is today. In the year ahead, look for events, including a Presidential Colloquium, that explore the impact of the ADA and its role in addressing emergent complex social challenges.

Please join me today in rededicating our work to fulfilling not only the letter of the law, but also the spirit and promise of inclusion it envisions for a better society and a better world.


Kathleen McCartney