Change for People with Disabilities: Time to Email Obama!

Posted on 7 November 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Comments or Information, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Inclusion, News, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Change for People with Disabilities: Time to Email Obama!

[Addendum, 21 January 2009: Please note that this blog site has no association with the Obama administration or the US government. This means that comments left here will NOT be passed along to the White House.  People who wish to contact Obama’s administration will wish to try the White House web site, or you may wish to communicate with the White House Office of Public Liaison.]

On November 4, 2008, millions of people with disabilities across the United States and around the world joined our non-disabled peers in watching the United States election results. Obama supporters cheered or wept to learn that the next US president would be Obama. Then we cheered or wept again when Obama mentioned people with disabilities in his acceptance speech. History was made–not only for America, not only for Black people, not only for Kenya and all of Africa, not only for Indigenous peoples, but also for people with disabilities.

But we cannot afford to allow the moment to end here. Whether we supported Obama, McCain, or another candidate, we all know there is far too much work ahead before we can say, “Yes, we have made real change for people with disabilities.”

It is time for people with disabilities, our loved ones, our neighbors, and colleagues to join together, across ideological divides, to reach out to Obama. We should all send an email to Kareem Dale, Obama’s National Disability Vote Director (at, WITH COPIES TO Anne Hayes, a volunteer on the Obama Disability Policy Committee (at

First, we should thank Obama — and also Kareem Dale — for mentioning people with disabilities in Obama’s acceptance speech on November 4. Ensure that they understand how much it matters simply for us to be included. How did you feel when Obama mentioned us? Share your story.

Second, we should tell Obama and Kareem Dale that we are aware of Obama’s disability platform. He promised to increase educational opportunities; end discrimination; increase employment opportunities; and support independent, community-based living for Americans with disabilities. And he promised to sign the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the first international, legally-binding human rights treaty for people with disabilities. Tell Obama and Kareem Dale that we are ready to call Obama to account if he fails us. But more importantly, we are ready to work with him for change for people with disabilities.

It is important to send your disability-related emails to BOTH Kareem Dale AND Anne Hayes ( AND between now and inauguration day. Kareem Dale’s email address may change between now and January 20, 2009. Anne Hayes can help ensure that emails sent to Kareem Dale are not lost during this time of transition.

Both Kareem Dale and others who have worked on disability issues within the Obama campaign are ready to receive YOUR emails on disability-related issues for US President-elect Obama. Emails are welcome from across the United States and around the world. If you are a US citizen, then please say so in your email.

Learn more about Obama’s plan for people with disabilities at:

Yes, the video is captioned. And if you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you can download Obama’s Full Plan for people with disabilities in PDF format (62 Kb).

Read Obama’s acceptance speech at:

Want to read someone else’s letter to Obama before you write your own? Some links to a few letters to Obama are posted at:

Learn more about the CRPD at

If you wish to contact Obama’s staff on some topic other than disability, then you can send an email via his web page at

Please circulate this email freely, or post this at your own blog, web site, or Facebook page.

This text was first posted at The most updated version will be here, so please consult before cross-posting.

“It is the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, DISABLED and not disabled — Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.”
–President-Elect Barack Obama
Acceptance speech, November 4, 2008; emphasis added

The above text, with some alterations, is also available in this slide show:

The above text was written by me, Andrea Shettle. Please do copy/paste and circulate the text above the line among other people. Let’s send as many letters as we can to Obama and his staff to ensure they know that people with disabilities around the world are looking to him to stand by us during his tenure as US president.

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32 Responses to “Change for People with Disabilities: Time to Email Obama!”

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[…] I hope other Deaf people, and people with disabilities in general, will join me in reaching out to Obama from across the US and around the world. Thank him for including us in his remarks on election night. Remind him of his campaign promises to Americans with disabilities (Follow the link to download the 62 Kb PDF file, read it, and pick out an issue that speaks to you at your deepest level. Mention it in your letter.) Then thank him again for including us. Follow this link to learn more about why and how people with disabilities throughout the US, and aro…. […]

Thank you for starting this conversation Andrea. You have crafted a very well written and researched piece that is a great basis for our own message to President-Elect Obama. Keith will be putting together his own letter and we’ll be sure to let you know so it can be cross-posted to your audience!

[…] Thank you to Md Abdus Sattar Dulal for agreeing to allow this letter to be posted at We Can Do. This letter is one more contribution in a campaign among people with disabilities and allies around the world to send emails to Obama. These emails are an opportunity to thank him for mentioning people with disabilities in his election night speech and also an opportunity to remind him of the campaign promises he made to people with disabilities. These include a promise to sign the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Read more about the Call To Action, and how you can participate, at […]

[…] Ambrose Murangira, International Disability Activist, Kampala, UGANDA Thank you to Ambrose Murangira for granting permission to post his letter at this blog. A global campaign is under way to urge people with disabilities, our loved ones, colleagues, and other allies to send emails to Obama. These emails are an opportunity in part to thank him for mentioning people with disabilities in his election-night speech. They also are an opportunity to increase the visibility of people with disabilities around the world within Obama’s administration. People are writing emails from across the United States and around the world. Learn more about the international Call To Action and how YOU can participate at […]

[…] text was first posted at The most updated version will be here, so please consult before cross-posting. “It is the […]

[…] Planet Is It Anyway comes news of pending Autism legislation and an email campaign launched by Andrea Shettle for people with disabilities to engage with President Elect Obama on what our vision of change […]

[…] since this Call to Action was first posted, people have been educating themselves about Obama’s campaign promises to […]

[…] important for Deaf people, people with disabilities, our loved ones, colleagues, and other allies SEND EMAILS TO OBAMA! Let him know that we are aware of the promises Obama has made to people with […]

Can Canadians email as well?

YES, People from ANY country are encouraged to email Obama regarding people with disabilities. For example, he has promised to sign the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and to encourage the US Senate to ratify it. This potentially has international significance.

Two more sites have made brief mentions of the campaign and linked to here:

[…] If you have any trouble with this slide show, then most of the text is also posted at […]

Congratulations America President Elect
Barrack Obama.Thanks for mentioning persons with disabilities in your speech.We are looking forward to the
support from America to the government of Kenya
to ensure that there are good policies for
persons with disabilities.

Mildred Omino
Physically Challenged
Mildred Omino.

[…] efforts and activism of people and organizations like Bill Creswell, Ian Jolly, Reunify Gally, We Can Do, and countless others who raise this issue time and […]

Dear Andrea Shettle,
I really appreciate your good work, i am not reading whole topics you write, but when i saw this action for the ppl of disability i and myself want to work or move with you,

ur liek so kewl i loe u 4 president nd i really think u kould make a difference in diz world know dhat george bush mest iht uhp
ilyouuu obama

[…] If you need more detail on the national and global email-writing campaign to Obama, you may wish to view the slide show program below. Or, if you have difficulty with this slide show program, then most of this text is also posted at […]

[…] administration. Learn more about the international Call To Action and how you can participate at Most of the same text is also in the slide show further below (click on the arrows to move through […]

iam kagiri sulaiman, chairman and founder of kagiri community development youth project(KCDP) fast of i would like to congraturate mr. Barrack Obama for his success. i and the entire staff of KCDP expect a lot from mr.Obama especially with the issues concerning disabled and also to provide us with Grants to help ugandans whom were neglected by the uganda government. Mr. Obama i wish you success.
kagiri sulaiman, po box 34727-kampala-uganda

Sir , president i listen your words for nations realy yopu touch our indian hearts i can say this you are a nice human being and i pray to god give u all power to success in your aim you think about human cause humnanity seems in your speech and you care abt all relegion like hindu u mention in your speech you touch all indian hindu heart saying this it shows you care abt all the world not only america your this word makes a space on my heart untill i die i cant forget your words . god bless you and i keep remember you in all my prayers .


Dear Sir / Madam how are you.
My name is Emmanuel John Kabipe I were Tanzania civilian and I were the problem of hearing even also the chairman in my district for the disable people.
My problem I request to be engaged among your conference which needs the disabled in order to help the people who have the problem of hearing such as disabled. Request to be (3) supervisors and (2) translators total number (5) from Tanzania. Thanks

Emmanuel John Kabipe
Chairman of Tanzania Association of the deaf (T.A.D.),
Nzega District,
Tabora, Tanzania East Africa.

please help support architecture for humanity,,,we care to design like we give a damn

[…] If you wish, you may learn more detail about the national and global email-writing campaign by viewing the short slide show below (click on the right arrow to advance to the next screen). You also may download the slide show for yourself (106 Kb), or read most of the same text on-line at […]

Dear President Barack Obama, Your work is highly recommended . KCDP youth project wishes you big success in whatever you are aiming at.
Yours Sincerely,

Kagiri sulaiman,
KCDP youth project
po box 34727
tel:+256-775 340 492 a non-profit organization based in Tanzania, places volunteers from across the world willing to assist in various welfare projects in schools, hospitals, orphanages, monasteries, community/government organizations etc. with an aim to educate and help influence the life of the deprived people throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America.

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was browsing on Yahoo for something else, Anyways I am
here now and would just like to say thanks a lot for a incredible post and a all round enjoyable blog (I also love the theme/design), I
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a great deal more, Please do keep up the superb jo.

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