Bush Names Clay Aiken To President's Council
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
September 7, 2006
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA--President George W. Bush announced Tuesday that he plans to appoint 2003 "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken to the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities.
Aiken, a former camp counselor an Raleigh native who graduated the same year from the University of North Carolina with a degree in special education, has advocated several years for children with disabilities to be included in activities along with other children.
Before auditioning for the national talent show that brought him fame and fortune, Aiken launched the Bubel/Aiken Foundation to, among other things, provide services and financial support to help fully integrate children that have disabilities with other children in camp life. He was inspired to start the foundation after working with Mike Bubel, who has autism.
In 1961, President Kennedy first formed a President's Panel on Mental Retardation to advise the president and the Secretary of Health and Human Services on issues concerning mental disabilities. President Johnson formally established the President's Committee on Mental Retardation in 1966.
President George W. Bush renamed the panel in July 2003 after several members objected to being appointed to a committee with the phrase "mental retardation" in it.
Clay Aiken idolizes kids with developmental disabilities January 20, 2004 (USA Today)
The Bubel/Aiken Foundation