Kareem Dale, special advisor on disability policy for President Obama, hosted a White House briefing this week for more than 50 representatives of organizations that advocate for individuals with disabilities, including Alexander T. Graham, executive director, Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell). "This briefing is continued evidence of the Obama Administration’s efforts to build a lasting collaborative relationship with all organizations serving those with disabilities," Graham says.

In his opening remarks, Dale said, "it is a new day for all Americans and it is especially a new day for those with disabilities in America." He was joined in the opening of the briefing by Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to the president for intergovernmental affairs and public liaison. Prior to her current position, she served as co-chair of the Obama-Biden Presidential transition team, and senior advisor to Obama’s presidential campaign.

Participants were updated on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (also known the economic stimulus plan—for more information, click here), the development of the Federal budget and civil rights, as well as key agency leadership appointments in the administration relating to disability issues. Key advisors addressed how issues concerning disabled people are integrated in all aspects of the Obama Administration’s efforts—from the work that First Lady Michelle Obama is doing with military families to the increased funding for the Individual’s with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Dale and other advisors told attendees that work on important disability related issues are not just relegated to one department, but are included in all aspects of the Administration’s initiatives.

[Source: AG Bell]