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 kdale@barackobama.com), WITH COPIES TO Anne Hayes, a volunteer on the Obama Disability Policy Committee (at ahayesku@hotmail.com).

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 (kdale@barackobama.com AND ahayesku@hotmail.com) 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: http://origin.barackobama.com/issues/disabilities/

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: http://www.barackobama.com/2008/11/04/remarks_of_presidentelect_bara.php

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: http://reunifygally.wordpress.com/2008/11/13/emails-to-obama-creating-change-for-people-with-disabilities/

Learn more about the CRPD at http://ratifynow.org/ratifynow-faq/

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 http://www.change.gov/page/s/ofthepeople

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

This text was first posted at https://wecando.wordpress.com/2008/11/07/disabilities-email-obama/ 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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Guyana President Pledges Support to Deaf Awareness Week

Posted on 27 September 2008. Filed under: Deaf, Latin America & Caribbean, News | Tags: , , , |

One We Can Do reader has informed me that Guyana President President Bharrat Jagdeo pledged to support the Deaf Awareness Week initiated by a local Support Group of Deaf Persons. Read more detail in the Kaieteur News at:

http://www.kaieteurnews.com/?p=7626



Thank you to Montgomery Chester for bringing my attention to this story.

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