Archive for November 24th, 2008

So, there is a global email-writing campaign among Deaf people and people with disabilities to President Barack Obama. That’s cool! I know he promised many things from the moon to your kitchen sink. And every move he does whether it’s good or bad, affects everybody worldwide. The world will be closely watching his every move and expects a whole lot from him.

After reading a comment from Ms. Andrea Shettle of ReunifyGally, I am convinced that we must always remind the incoming president about his campaign promises. We must let him know that our American brothers and sisters, most especially those who have physical disabilities must not be neglected. And people from every nation must be vigilant in protecting our own interests with which the United States should respect and uphold.

In his official website, Pres. Obama details his promises for disabled people as follows:

  • Provide Americans with disabilities with the educational opportunities they need to succeed;
  • End discrimination and promote equal opportunity;
  • Increase the employment rate of workers with disabilities;
  • Support independent, community-based living for Americans with disabilities.

Although these promises are basically motherhood statements, these must be backed up by concrete and specific action plans in order to implement them. And all these statements are explicitly stated in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN-CRPD). There were already 41 countries that ratified the convention which our country, the Philippines was the 28th. The law has been adopted by the UN last December of 2006, almost two years ago. I was very much surprised that USA hasn’t done so, not even one of those that signed.

With this seemingly laggard stance of the most powerful country in the world and supposedly the role model of democracy and equal rights, the United States must act swiftly in order to reclaim their global leadership in this issue. Once the US ratifies it, it may help encourage other countries to ratify the CRPD. This could have important implications for the status of Deaf human rights and the human rights of people with disabilities generally.

Ms. Shettle states:

Deaf people and people with disabilities from across the United States and around the world have been sending emails to Obama to congratulate him; to thank him for including a mention of people with disabilities in his election night speech; and, most importantly, to remind him of his campaign promises.

These emails can be an important way of making sure that Obama’s team is well aware that people around the world are watching what Obama does next to live up to his promises to Deaf people and people with disabilities. More information about how and why to send emails to Obama is in a slideshow program that you can watch at http://reunifygally.wordpress.com/2008/11/15/why-we-should-email-obama/.

So to my worldwide readers, let’s unite and email Pres. Obama c/o Ms. Kareem Dale and Ms. Anne Hayes (kdale@barackobama.com AND ahayesku@hotmail.com) between now and inauguration day. 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.

PS: Sorry Andrea, pasting your slide show program doesn’t work in this WordPress blog. :-(





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