UCP Commends the Late Justin Dart, Jr.
Justin Dart, Jr., 71, died yesterday in Washington. For the last fifty years, Justin could be counted on to lead the charge for the rights of people with disabilities. He was a warrior in a wheelchair.
President Clinton, in 1998, awarded Justin Dart the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Justin Dart was regarded as a father of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the landmark 1990 civil rights law protecting people with disabilities from discrimination. In 1990, during the Presidential signing ceremony for the ADA, in recognition of Justin’s significant role in passage of that civil rights law, former President Bush presented him with the first pen used by President to sign the ADA into law.
President Reagan named him the Chairman of the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities – an appointment that came after he quit as Commissioner of the Education Department's Rehabilitation Agency testifying before Congress that the government had "paternalistic attitudes about disability."
Justin was also a successful businessman, founding and serving as Chief Executive of Japan Tupperware Inc.
We will miss his leadership and his never wavering persistence in pursuing rights and opportunities for people with disabilities.