Wednesday, March 25, 2009

White House Interview on Disabilities: Exclusive

Disability Scoop has a scoop -- exclusive interview with Kareem Dale, the White House special assistant on disability policy. In this must-read interview, Dale addresses many key issues, including IDEA, waiting lists, employment, and even President Obama's recent remark about Special Olympics. He says his top priorities are involving more people with disabilities throughout the administration and making sure disability issues are front and center in the president’s overall agenda for the whole country -- from health care to education to employment.

Considering President Obama has been in office for a mere two months -- and he's dealing with an economic crisis -- I like Dale's final thoughts:

"I think in the disability community — from being a person with a disability and from working on the campaign and the transition — I think there is a tendency for people to believe that the glass is half empty and believe that the president or whatever government official is not going to do what they said they were going to do. I think in the first couple of months we’ve seen the president’s commitment to work hard on disability issues.

"It’s always hard to accomplish every single solitary thing by the letter that you say you’re going to accomplish. But I think in the first two months we’ve accomplished an extraordinary amount and we’re continuing to work hard. So I would just encourage the disability community, as hard as it is sometimes, to be patient with us and recognize the great accomplishments of the first two months and just look forward to other things to come down the road."
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