Presidential Proclamation — Blind Americans Equality Day, 2012

The White House
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Recent disability announcements include the President proclaiming October 15, 2012, as Blind Americans Equality Day, the Department of Labor launching a virtual Workplace Flexibility Toolkit, the Federal Communications Commission putting internet closed captions rules into effect, and the Department of Education awarding $24 million in grant funding to 22 states to improve training systems to help children with disabilities.

Presidential Proclamation — Blind Americans Equality Day, 2012

As business leaders and public advocates, teachers and scientists, musicians and athletes, and in countless other ways, blind and visually impaired Americans have profoundly enriched every part of our national life. Today, we celebrate their innumerable contributions, and we recommit to guaranteeing equal access, equal opportunity, and equal respect for all Americans.

Read the full text of the proclamation at the following link:

US Department of Labor launches virtual Workplace Flexibility Toolkit during National Disability Employment Awareness Month

The U.S. Department of Labor has launched its online Workplace Flexibility Toolkit to provide employees, job seekers, employers, policymakers and researchers with information, resources and a unique approach to workplace flexibility. Workplace flexibility policies and practices typically focus on when and where work is done. The toolkit adds a new dimension — an emphasis on flexibility around job tasks and what work is done. Funded by the department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy in partnership with the department’s Women’s Bureau, the toolkit makes more than 170 resources easily accessible

Read more about the toolkit at the following link:

Federal Communications Commission Internet Closed Captioning Rules Went Into Effect September 30

Rules requiring distributors of certain Internet video programming to provide closed captioning to assist viewers who are deaf or hard-of-hearing went into effect on September 30. Closed captioning is the visual display of the audio portion of video programming. These Internet closed captioning requirements were implemented pursuant to the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA).

Read more about the new rules at the following link:

$24 Million in Grants Awarded to 22 States to Improve Training Systems to Help Children with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Education announced the award of $24 million in grants to 22 states to improve personnel training systems to help children with disabilities. States receiving grants are: Alabama, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The State Personnel Development Grants Program, authorized by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), provides funds to assist states in reforming and improving their systems for personnel preparation and professional development in early intervention, education and transition services in order to enhance results for children with disabilities.

Read more about the grant awards at the following link:


Stephanie Cutter,

Truth Team

If you watched Thursday night’s debate, I don’t need to tell you that Vice President Biden scored a decisive victory.
The Vice President brought facts and conviction to Danville, Kentucky, and Paul Ryan brought canned lines and empty promises. It turns out, facts and details matter — and it’s clear that with their total disregard for both, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan know their plans for this country are indefensible.
In case you know people who missed the debate, share some of the highlights with them:
The difference on taxes :  Ryan couldn’t explain how the Romney-Ryan tax plan wouldn’t hurt the middle class. That’s because it’s mathematically impossible to pay for their $5 trillion tax plan favoring the wealthiest without raising taxes on middle-class families. Watch the clip of Vice President Biden pointing this out, then watch the Vice President explaining the Obama-Biden tax plan— and be sure to share with others:


Medicare : Joe Biden :  laid out all the facts about the Obama-Biden plan to strengthen Medicare, and explained how the Romney-Ryan Medicare voucher plan would raise costs for seniors. Take a look, and let others know, too:


The middle class :  After the debate, one reporter called Vice President Biden “a passionate warrior for the middle class.” I think this clip shows exactly why.Check it out, and pass it along:


Afghanistan Ryan :  couldn’t explain their plan for our troops in Afghanistan because they don’t have one. The President has a clear plan to end the war in Afghanistan in 2014, while Romney has been all over the map. Listen to the Vice President explain, and pass it along:


Women’s health :  When Ryan was asked to ensure women that their right to choose would be protected, he refused to answer because they wouldn’t. Vice President Biden, on the other hand, gave a heartfelt explanation of his views on women’s health. Take a look, and share with others:


Vice President Biden : has spent a lifetime fighting for the middle class, and he and President Obama will continue doing so in their second term.
Thanks for doing everything you can to make sure that happens.
P.S. — This morning, we released a new campaign ad narrated by Morgan Freeman that highlights what President Obama has done to move America forward, get folks back to work, and strengthen the middle class. Take a look, and share it with everyone you know.


A Job – Less Plan

| By ThinkProgress War Room

Mitt Romney’s ‘Jobs Plan’ is a Total Bust

This morning, the Washington Post’s in-house fact checker tore Mitt Romney’s claim that he will create 12 MILLION jobs to shreds. The Post wrote that the “‘new math’” in Romney’s plan “doesn’t add up. In awarding the claim four pinocchios — the most untrue possible rating, the Post expressed incredulity at the fact Romney would personally stand behind such a flawed, baseless claim:

Clearly, some clever campaign staffer thought it would be nice to match up poll-tested themes such as “energy independence,” “tax reform” and “cracking down on China” with actual job numbers. We just find it puzzling that Romney agreed to personally utter these words without asking more questions about the math behind them.

Ezra Klein, also of the Washington Post, called Romney’s claims and his campaign’s defense of them “LOL-worthy.” Klein looked at Romney’s laughable jobs claims (which Romney claims would be accomplished in one four-year term) and found that they were as follows:

So Romney’s claim of 12 million jobs over four years breaks down to 7 million jobs over 10 years in an economy that’s already at full employment, 3 million jobs over eight years that have nothing to do with any of Romney’s policies, and 2 million jobs if China suddenly became very, very respectful of U.S. intellectual property laws.

In other words, the claims behind Romney’s so-called jobs plan are unrelated to what Mitt Romney is actually proposing, are reflective of policies Obama has already put in place, and are stretched out over periods longer than a single term.

Our colleagues at the Center for American Progress Action Fund also took a look at Romney’s economic proposals and concluded that there are basically three possible outcomes for the economy if they were to be implemented:

  • A serious economic slowdown and paltry job growth
  • Significant job losses
  • Huge job losses and a new recession

Figure 1

All of these outcomes would obviously take us backward and should be unacceptable in general, much less as the central policy proposal of someone running for president.

And how do we know for sure that Romney’s plan won’t work? We’ve tried it before and it failed — repeatedly.

Health reform: 7 things to know now!

Policy and Action from Consumer Reports

Seven things you need to know.Consumer Reports digs in to tell you the major things you should know right now about the new health law. Donate and we will send you our 16-page guide so you’ll know how the law could affect you and your family. Help us distribute even more copies during this critical time!

Obamacare. The Affordable Care Act. Health reform. No matter what you call it, one thing is certain – the new health-care law will have some impact on your life.

But if you’re like most people, you’re not exactly sure how it will. Or, if what you’re hearing from the media, friends or family is really accurate.

Now there’s something you can do. Consumer Reports dug into the health law and picked out the most important ways it could affect you and your family. They tell it in their no-nonsense style in a 16-page colorful guide so you know exactly what is, and what isn’t, real.

Give a $5 tax-deductible gift to get your own Consumer Reports’ guide. Give more and we’ll distribute more copies during this critical time!

We believe it’s important that every American understands how the law affects them without the misinformation, hype or spin. Your $5 gift gets you this guide and helps cover the cost of distributing it to someone else. If you can give $10, we’ll distribute 25 more copies; give $25 and we’ll distribute 100 more. And your gift is tax deductible.

We know you and millions of others have questions, because we hear them everyday: If I already get health insurance through my job, what changes? Is Medicare going to be different? What exactly is that ‘mandate,’ and who does it apply to? Can I get a break on the cost of my coverage? Are there new taxes?

Consumer Reports answers these and other questions, and spells out what has already changed and what’s to come when the law is fully in place. Your donation helps get this easy-to-read guide out to you and as many other people as we possibly can.

Give $5 and get your own copy of the guide. Give more and we’ll distribute even more!

Your donation puts valuable information into your hands. And it helps us to continue getting you more affordable, decent health care and fair treatment from insurance companies. Thanks for helping spread the word!

Sincerely, De Ann Friedholm,, a project of Consumers Union

Overturn Citizen’s United

Union of Concerned Scientists
In 2012, the Supreme Court reaffirmed its controversial Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, allowing corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections. This decision, coupled with loopholes in current law, means that currently there’s essentially no requirement that corporations report their unlimited political spending. This allows them to anonymously confuse the public on science and delay action on critical public health and environmental protections.
Right now, our friends at Public Citizen are working to overturn this ruling, and they need your help. Sign Public Citizen’s petition calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission today. Here at the Union of Concerned Scientists, collaboration is a guiding principle. We partner with many of the nation’s leading scientists, unions, public interest and environmental organizations, and decision-makers in government to achieve our common goal: a cleaner, healthier environment and a safer world. Today we’re partnering with Public Citizen to encourage you to fight back against efforts to undermine our democratic system.
Don’t let special interests inappropriately influence public policy and pollute the national dialogue on scientific issues like climate change and energy production—sign the petition today.
Sincerely, MichaelHalpern_jpg Michael Halpern National Field Organizer UCS Center for Science and Democracy