Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tough Questions on Disabilities: Obama Responds

President Obama has received mixed reviews from the disability community. On this blog, I was vocal in my criticism of his appointment of Secretary Arne Duncan as Education Secretary, and I was underwhelmed with Duncan's record and actions in the area of special education.

The American Association of People with Disabilities asked both campaigns for their responses to a detailed questionnaire. President Obama's campaign responded; Governor Romney's campaign did not. What did the president's team have to say about his record? Read the document for detailed answers in areas of health insurance, education, independent living, transportation, employment, and more.

Since I've been particularly focused on the president's record on special education, here's part of his answer on that topic:
"For over 35 years, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has guaranteed students with disabilities their right to a free, appropriate public education and has helped millions of students with disabilities receive an education that prepares them to be full participants in our economy and our communities. My proposed budget will expand opportunities for people with disabilities, by increasing funding for IDEA state grants, and providing a $20 million increase for the IDEA Infants and Families program. My budget also provides a $28 million increase for Promoting Readiness in Minors in SSI (PROMISE)...to find and evaluate innovative approaches to improving outcomes for children and their families who receive Supplemental Security Income.
"My Administration is working with Congress to reform the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law. We will work to ensure that students with disabilities are included in all aspects of the law, including appropriately measuring achievement gaps and working to close them so that every child is on track to succeed. And until Congress acts, we will provide states flexibility from the most burdensome requirements of the law if they are willing to set higher, more honest standards for all students, including students with disabilities."

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