Why Obama Matters Globally
The new US President-elect Barack Obama has said that the United States should “lead the world” in helping people with disabilities “take full advantage of their talents and become independent, integrated members of society.” He also has pledged to sign the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and to urge the US Senate to ratify it. If the United States does indeed ratify the CRPD, disability advocates in other countries would then be able to point to this fact when pressuring their own governments to do the same.
Obama’s election could have important implications for people with disabilities not only across the United States but possibly also in other countries. But we will only reap the full benefits of his presidency if he follows through on all his promises to people with disabilities. Most politicians, at least in democratic countries, are more quick to follow through on their promises when they know that both people in their own country and also people around the world are watching them.
Accordingly, people with disabilities and our loved ones, colleagues, and allies from both across the United States and all countries around the world are being encouraged to send emails to Barack Obama’s team. You can send an email to Kareem Dale, Obama’s National Disability Vote Director (at email@example.com), WITH COPIES TO Anne Hayes, a volunteer on the Obama Disability Policy Committee (at firstname.lastname@example.org). If you wish, you may read other people’s emails to Obama for inspiration.
In your letters to Obama, you may wish to urge him to move quickly to sign the CRPD. Or, you may wish to urge him to remember to ensure that all US foreign assistance and poverty reduction programs are actively inclusive of people with disabilities in their design and implementation. What would it mean to the disability community in YOUR country if the US were to sign and ratify the CRPD? Share your ideas. Have you observed US-funded foreign assistance programs in your country that were not fully inclusive of people with disabilities? Share your stories with Obama’s team.
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 https://wecando.wordpress.com/2008/11/07/disabilities-email-obama/
After you write your own email to Obama, please do encourage your friends and colleagues to do the same.
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[Published at wecando.wordpress.com (We Can Do)]