Appointed Kareem Dale as the first Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act included a number of provisions of particular concern to people with disabilities.

  • The Act included $500 million to help the Social Security Administration reduce its backlog in processing disability applications.
  • The Act supplied $12.2 billion in funding to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA);
  • The Act also provided $87 billion to states to bolster their Medicaid programs during the downturn; and,
  • The Act provided over $500 million in funding for vocational rehabilitation services to help with job training, education and placement.

The President issued an Executive Order repealing the Bush-Era restrictions on embryonic stem cell research.

The President signed the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act, the first piece of comprehensive legislation aimed at improving the lives of Americans living with paralysis.

The President will work to nurture a society that values the contributions of all of our citizens and residents, including the 54 million people in this country living with disabilities. While people with disabilities are integrated into society as never before, we must do more.

Strengthen Access to and Improving the Quality of Health Care

President Obama has placed comprehensive health reform at the top of his domestic policy agenda. This means providing all Americans with stable and reliable access to quality and affordable health care. He will work with Congress to build on what works—including strengthening Medicaid and Medicare, programs that are of particular importance to people with disabilities.

Promote Access to Community Living Services

Too many people who need assistance with activities of every day life are faced with a difficult choice. They can move into a nursing home and face safety and quality of care problems or risk injury or death by staying in the community without adequate services to take care of personal needs. The President believes that more can be done to encourage states to shift more of their services away from institutions and into the community, which is both cost effective and humane.

Protect Civil Rights

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a landmark law that has done much to protect people with disabilities from discrimination. However, President Obama will push for more consistent and effective enforcement of ADA, which can do more to prevent discrimination in employment, public services, public accommodations and telecommunications.

Expand Educational Opportunities

President Obama supports educational opportunities for people with disabilities and will expand funding for programs like the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) that ensure all Americans have access to the tools to succeed.

Increase Access to Employment

President Obama is committed to expanding access to employment by having the federal government lead by example in hiring people with disabilities; enforcing existing laws; providing technical assistance and information on accommodations for people with disabilities; removing barriers to work; and increasing employment opportunities for people receiving public benefits.


THU, APRIL 30, 7:36 PM EST

“It's Good Weather for a Race”

Today, after being introduced by Defense Secretary Gates, the President gave a few remarks on the South Lawn before kicking off the "White House to Light" House Wounded Warrior Soldiers Ride.
Updated with video.
MON, MARCH 30, 8:06 PM EST

“Protecting That Which Fuels Our Spirit”

President Obama signs the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009, one of the most sweeping pieces of conservation and public land management legislation in years.

Biden honors a movement at the Special Olympics

Vice President Biden announces Kareem Dale as Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy at the Special Olympics.