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Wedge
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18 Dec 2008, 10:31 am

This is a copy of President´s Barak Obama speach during the National Disability Employment Awareness Month:


It's a pleasure for me to join you in celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Americans with disabilities are an essential and underutilized part of our workforce. As President, I will work hard to help you achieve full equality—in the workplace, in education, and in all aspects of life.

I don't have to tell you the dismal statistics—an employment rate 40 points below that of working-age individuals without disabilities and a federal failure to meet the disability employment targets of Executive Order 13173.

This must change—and I know that it can. Because I know that we can change it. One of the most important measures of any society is how well it enables each person to live up to his or her potential. Fairness is important, but providing you with the supports and services so you can succeed goes beyond that—it goes to the heart of our nation's future. Because in an era of intense global competition, we can't afford not to put everyone to work. You shouldn't be locked out of the workplace. Children with disabilities shouldn't be languishing in failing schools that doom them to a life of second class citizenship. Your talents and energies must not go to waste.

America faces great challenges right now and we won't meet them without the help of everyone who can work. It's that simple. That's why it is long past time for us to break down the barriers that still exclude people with disabilities in this country and deprive you of true equality of opportunity and independence.

One of the first places we need change is in the workplace, and the federal government should take the lead. That's why my administration will be a model for other employers in hiring and accommodating employees with disabilities. Before leaving office, President Clinton issued Executive Order No. 13173, which mandated hiring an additional 100,000 federal employees with disabilities within five years. Eight years later, this goal still hasn't been reached. I will reinstate this executive order early in my term as President and designate a senior White House official to assure that all federal departments and agencies do their part to help meet this goal. I will also vigorously enforce the Rehabilitation Act, including Section 503 requiring the federal government and employers who are federal contractors to "take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities."

In addition, I will launch an aggressive effort to educate employers about tax benefits designed to encourage them to hire employees with disabilities, such as the Disabled Access Tax Credit, the Tax Deduction for Architectural and Transportation Barrier Removal, and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. They are underused and our employers can't afford to miss out on these benefits any longer.

These actions will help many adults with disabilities increase their contributions to our society, and I believe we must do even more for the next generation. That's why I will fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and ensure that it is effectively implemented and enforced.

This is a pivotal election, and it's our time for change. I hope you'll get involved, because I can't do this alone. I need everyone to contact their friends and family to make sure they know about the issues and where the candidates stand. I need everyone who can to make phone calls and knock on doors to get the word out. Together, we can win this election. Together, we can achieve full equality for Americans with disabilities. Together, we can create the changes we seek.



violet_yoshi
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18 Dec 2008, 2:42 pm

I think he might be more of the person to understand, seeing how wonderful of a father he is to his little girls.



KenG
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20 Dec 2008, 7:15 am

AspieCard wrote:
WP should send a letter to President elect Obama and ask him to make employment and eduation resources for people on the Autistic Spectrum a high priority.
ASAN's representatives will be meeting Obama's office representatives next week. WP members are invited to to give their thoughts as to what issues matter to them in relation to Autism Policy and Health Care Policy in the upcoming administration: http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt86144.html


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Wedge
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26 Dec 2008, 7:46 am

The_Cucumber wrote:
Encouraging the employment of ASD individuals is a tricky business. You have to ignore the fact the person has autism, but not create an affirmative action system that allows unqualified autistic people to be chosen over better qualified NTs.

The only real system I can think of is trying to train people to ignore certain social problems when holding an interview for a job that doesn't require them (you don't need to make eye contact if your a data analyst). Such a system is impossible to enforce outside of the public sector, but it's a step in the right direction.


I was reading "Understanding Autism for Dummies" by Stephen M. Shore and Linda G.Rastelli and there is a short paragraph (page 73) about employment issues for people with Aspergers:

"As President Emeritus of the Asperger’s Association of New England, author Stephen Shore sees dozens of people with Asperger Syndrome who have high IQs. However, due to challenges in understanding the unspoken rules of employment, they’re greatly challenged in finding and being successful at any sort of typical job..."

I've also been through similar situations...



DeanFoley
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26 Dec 2008, 8:17 am

Erm...if it was a letter from WP, a few people would be speaking for all of us. Many people may disagree with you.

And isn't this a bit minor for a priority in the grand scheme of things?



PastorNate
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27 Dec 2008, 1:40 pm

I am rather impressed by the length, the time, the effort and the depth of heartfelt feelings that went in to each of your posts. Good work, everyone!

Alex: Would you represent all of us and go before President Obama and present all of these posts? I think that it would be most beneficial for him to personally see and review each of these posts. If you would like or need an incredibly well-connected partner (politically-speaking) look no further, as I am more than willing to humbly offer my serivces.