Obama for People with Disabilities, Deaf People

Posted on 17 November 2008. Filed under: Advocacy, Email Obama! | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

[People who wish to communicate with the Obama administration should PLEASE CONTACT THEM DIRECTLY. I am NOT able to pass along your emails to the Obama administration. You can contact the White House at http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/. Or you may prefer to contact the White House Office of Public Liaison, which in their own words is “the front door to the White House through which everyone can participate and inform the work of the President,” at http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/opl/]

US President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden say the United States “should lead the world” in helping Deaf people and people with disabilities to “take full advantage of their talents and become independent, integrated members of society.” Obama has promised to make the United States a signatory to the UN
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and will urge U.S. Senate to ratify the Convention as soon as possible.

Obama offers a four-part plan for improving opportunities for Deaf people and people with disabilities in the United States:

(1) Providing Americans with disabilities the educational opportunities they need to succeed.

(2) Ending discrimination and promoting equal opportunity.

(3) Increasing the employment rate of workers with disabilities.

(4) Supporting independent, community-based living for Americans with disabilities.

Obama says he and his administration will “work closely with individuals with disabilities and disability rights advocates to achieve this vision…”

Read more about Obama’s plan at http://origin.barackobama.com/issues/disabilities/

What can YOU do to help make this plan come true? Politicians are usually more quick to follow through on their promises when they know that people across their country–and throughout other countries of the world–are watching them. Please send emails to Obama’s team: ask Obama to move quickly to meet all of his promises to people with disabilities. Which promise do you care about the most? Jobs for people with disabilities? Signing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities? Better-quality education? Independent living in the community? Tell Obama why it matters so much to you.

Send emails on Deaf- or disability-related issues 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).

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 http://wecando.wordpress.com/2008/11/07/disabilities-email-obama/

After you send your own email to Obama, please also encourage your friends and colleagues to do the same.

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ADA Restoration Act Jan 10-24 ’08, Blogging Round-Up

Posted on 24 January 2008. Filed under: ADA Restoration Act of 2007, Advocacy, Audism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

The most significant news on the ADA Restoration Act is that there will be a hearing in the House of Representatives to discuss the bill on January 29. Several blog posts from around the web talk about the hearing and encourage voters–meaning, YOU–to write your representatives and encourage them to attend the hearing. This is particularly important for members of the House Committee on Education and Labor because the hearing will be a chance for them to learn more about the bill and why it is important to pass the ADA Restoration Act.

Other posts on the ADA Restoration Act highlight stories of discrimination (toward a deaf woman and toward a woman with physical disabilities); and a New York Times article debates whether the ADA is as effective as its supporters claim. Browse one or a few of the following listed posts, then please do contact your representatives to encourage them to attend the January 29 hearing. Also write to your senators to ask them to sign on as a co-sponsor for the ADA Restoration Act.

MLK Road to Freedom and the ADA Restoration Act Jan 24 ’08, UCC Disabilities Ministries acknowledges Martin Luther King Day with a photo gallery of the recently completed Road to Freedom tour in which a group of advocates criss-crossed the country to hold local outreach events educating the public about the ADA Restoration Act.

Another Story Illustrating Why We Need the ADA Restoration Act Jan 24 ’08, Growing up with a Disability shares two recent stories of discrimination (one toward a deaf woman who tried to order food from a drive-through window, another toward a woman unable to use her hands who was refused service because she tried to give her credit card with her foot).

Action Alert on ADA Hearing Jan 23 ’08, the RT blog lists all the members of the House Committee of Education and Labor, complete with their phone numbers. Check the list for YOUR representatives, call up their office, and say you would like to encourage them to please attend the upcoming hearing on the ADA Restoration Act scheduled for January 29 ’08.

January co-sponsors Jan 23 ’08, the ADA Restoration blog reports that two members of the House have now added their names as co-sponsors for the ADA Restoration Act, bringing the total up to 243.

House Ed Labor Hearing Details Jan 23 ’08, the ADA Restoration blog gives more detail on the upcoming House hearing on the ADA Restoration Act, to be held on Jan 29.

Unintended Consequences Jan 20 ’08, A disturbing article in the New York Times asks whether the Americans with Disabilities Act might have backfired by actually giving some employers and other individuals MORE incentive, not less, to discriminate.

Upcoming Hearings in House Jan 19 ’08, the Entrophy Fighter reminds readers of the upcoming hearing on the ADA Restoration Act and encourages people (meaning YOU!) to contact your representatives to encourage them to attend.

Hearing Rescheduled Jan 18 ’08, the ADA Restoration blog announces that the hearing on the ADA Restoration Act in the House Committee on Education and Labor has now been rescheduled to January 29, 2008. Do contact committee members to encourage them to attend (follow the link to learn how).

Update: Hearing Postponement January 10 ’08, the ADA Restoration blog announces that the hearing in the House Committee on Education and Labor on the ADA Restoration Act has been postponed–but will be rescheduled for sometime later in January. Meanwhile, the ADA Restoration blog still encourages readers to contact members of the House Committee to urge them to attend the hearing when it does occur. Follow the link for more details on how to contact members and how to stay informed of the latest news related to the ADA Restoration Act.

PLEASE make an ASL vlog (or a written blog, if you like) on the ADA Restoration Act! If you do, I’d be delighted to link to you!

CCD has compiled an excellent collection of materials on the ADA and on the ADA Restoration Act of 2007, so it’s well worth following their link to www.c-c-d.org/ada. If you’re still new to the subject, this can help you understand why the ADA Restoration Act is critical to pass and why we should all be involved.

See my continually-updated list of blog entries from all over the web about the ADA Restoration Act of 2007, always available from the top navigation bar at “On the ADA Restoration Act.”

See examples of specific court cases that have served to undermine the spirit and intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act: click on “ADA Court Cases” under “categories” in the right-hand navigation bar. I still have two more ADA Court Cases in the coming few weeks.

Also, don’t miss these links: One group of activists has posted a short list of simple ideas of things you can do to help get the Restoration Act passed. And do check out the ADA Restoration Blog for updates. Or browse through background information on the ADA Restoration Act. Or contact your legislators. It is particularly important to write letters to your senators.

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