Attention ADA Generation/ Generation Obama We are the leaders of the disability community. Some call us \"future leaders\" or \"emerging leaders \"and I am here to tell you that the future is going to pass us by if we keep waiting to have our voices heard and waiting to lead. It\'s time to declare your support for our candidate, and sign on to this letter supporting Barack Obama! The election is just around the corner and we need to have an impact. It\'s time that we select a leader for our generation. This is not our parents generation of disability leadership, it\'s not even the generation of the many special education teachers who segregate us physically with their separate classes and emotionally with their low expectations. This is the ADA Generation. We are the first generation to grow up with the right to inclusion and with our civil rights protected by the ADA, IDEA, and Section 504. And it\'s time we fight for the protection of those rights. We need to get out and make a difference. We are not in need of a leader from the past. We\'ve seen the old model and it doesn\'t work. We are not in need of a \"great man\" or \"great woman\" to come and save everyone in these unstable times. What we need is a leader who can bring people together for a common cause and for the good of all Americans. We need a new leader for a new Generation of Disability, the ADA Generation. This leader is Barack Obama and we strongly urge you to read this letter, add your support as a co-signer below, and send it out to your networks far and wide. Here is where Barack Obama stands on the issues important to the ADA Generation Problem: Students with disabilities are more likely to live in poverty so college may not be a financial option. Solution: Make College More Affordable: If elected, Obama will help make college more affordable and accessible by creating a new American Opportunity Tax Credit. This universal and fully refundable credit will ensure that the first $4,000 of a college education is completely free for most Americans, and will cover two thirds of the cost of tuition at the average public college or university. Problem: Students with Disabilities are twice as likely to drop out of school, and half as likely to go to college as their peers Solution: Authorize a Comprehensive Study of Students with Disabilities and Transition to Work and Higher Education. If elected, Obama will initiate a study to look at what is preventing students with disabilities from going to and graduating from college, what is keeping students with disabilities from getting a job after graduation, how are students with disabilities accessing loans and grants, why are they dropping out from high school and college, and what are strategies and best practices that can be used to turn this around! Problem: The Supreme Court is hacking away at the definition of what it means to have a disability Solution: Restoring the Americans with Disabilities Act: Obama has made being an advocate his life. The Supreme Court is cutting away at the definition of what it means to be a person with a disability. Because of this, the Supreme Court says if you have epilepsy, diabetes, heart disease, or even cancer, that you don\'t have a disability and can be fired BECAUSE you have any of those conditions. Obama strongly supports Senator Tom Harkin\'s (D-IA) ADA Restoration Act, which would overturn the Supreme Court decisions that limit the ADA\'s coverage and effectiveness and will sign it into law as president. Problem: People with mental health disabilities keep getting less coverage for treatment than other disabilities, illnesses, and diseases. Solution: Support the Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addition Equity Act. As president, Obama will support mental health parity so that coverage for serious mental illnesses is provided on the same terms and conditions as other illnesses and diseases. For veterans, Obama will improve mental health care at every stage of military service; recruitment, deployment, and reentry into civilian life. We need a leader that will sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities- the first human rights treaty approved by the UN in the 21st century and a vital foundation for respecting the rights of people with disabilities worldwide. Barack Obama has pledged to do so and has also pledged to urge the U.S. Senate to ratify the Convention expeditiously. Other pledges Senator Obama has made to the disability community Increase funding for ADA Enforcement: Assuring the Rights Affirmed in the Olmstead v. L.C. Decision Supporting the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act: Support emergency and disaster planning that helps states properly care for people with disabilities It\'s time for a leader for OUR generation. Sign the letter below and forward it to five friends (more is okay too!) to indicate your response and let\'s show our country that the ADA Generation is also Generation Obama! This petition will be spread far and wide through the disability community and will get into the hands of Obama\'s Disability Policy Committee and forwarded onto his campaign staff. If you\'re interested in getting more involved in the Obama campaign, give us your email or phone number! Remember, this is not about one man, this is about growing a movement that needs all of us to be involved! It\'s time to start leadin\' on! Rebecca Hare and Micah Fialka-Feldman Check out the accessible version of the Yes We Can video! http://www.overstream.net/view.phpoid=rjnql3ajnxrx If you\'re not registered to vote yet, click here to find a registration form that you can fax in. http://www.fabnit.com/nvra-update-09-12-06.pdf Find Barack Obama\'s Plan to Empower Americans with Disabilities at http://www.BarackObama.com/issues/disabilities If you\'re still not sure about who to vote for, the American Association of People with Disabilities has an easy to use side by side document that explains what the candidates will do about certain issues. http://www.aapd-dc.org/News/election/070804comp.htm
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