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Chicagoan Kareem Dale tapped to be Obama White House Disability Policy advisor

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WASHINGTON--Vice President Biden on Thursday announced the appointment of Chicagoan Kareem Dale as Special assistant to the President for Disability
Policy.

Dale, who is partly blind, was the Disability Vote Director for the Obama presidential campaign.

Biden announced the Dale appointment during his visit to the Special Olympics World
Winter Games in Boise, Idaho.

Dale flew with joined Biden on Air Force 2 from Washington to Boise. Said Dale: "I¹m just humbled and honored for the faith the president and vice president have shown in me and I look forward to working with them."

POOL REPORT #2 STARTS HERE.


Boise, Idaho ­



Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday announced the appointment of named
Kareem Dale to a new post, Special assistant to the President for Disability
Policy.

Biden made the announcement during his visit to the Special Olympics World
Winter Games.

Dale, of Chicago, joined Biden on his trip on Air Force 2 from Washington
to Boise. Said Dale: ³I¹m just humbled and honored for the faith the
president and vice president have shown in me and I look forward to working
with them.²

Biden said the new position is proof of the administration¹s commitment to
bettering conditions for persons with disabilities.

Biden said of Dale: ³He is going to have absolutely direct access to the
president. What we¹re trying to do is make sure that not only do we deal
with getting support for what you¹re seeing happeningŠat these Winter Games,
but also to make sure that persons with disabilities are in position to also
be in the work force, so they don¹t have to chose, like many have to do now,
between staying in a job that¹s a dead-end job that they don¹t like, or else
leaving a job that they like because it¹s the only way to get health care.²

Biden suggested President Obama would have attended the Games, but for the
stimulus legislation debate. ³Had we had a few things settled back in
Washington, he¹d of been here today,² Biden told Special Olympics athletes
and volunteers at Boise State University for a ³Healthy Athletes² event.

Biden said he¹d been involved with Special Olympics since shortly after he
joined the Senate in 1973, when founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver ³grabbed me
and said, ſYou¹re now involved.¹²

He said he was struck by the growth of Special Olympics and the
international participation --- 95 nations are represented at the Games.

³Look,² said Biden, ³this is a movement. What started off as an avenue and
an outlet and a recognition for athletes has turned into a worldwide
movement. This is about to change the attitude, change the attitude of
governments, change the attitude of individuals.

³It¹s a big deal. I started off in the civil rights movement. This is a
civil rights movement. This is a movement to make sure that we guarantee
that all peoples in the world have the opportunity to succeed to the degree
they are capable.²

Tim Shriver, chairman of the Special Olympics board and the son of Eunice
Shriver, praised Biden, the appointment of Kareem Dale, and the
administration¹s commitment to persons with disabilities.

Shriver: ³When this campaign came and hit the world stage, we felt that
finally someone was speaking our languageŠ.They¹ve been saying, ſLet¹s break
down all barriers. Let¹s find a new way to get along and work together.¹²

Shriver said 3 million athletes participate in 30,000 events worldwide. ³We
believe this represents the largest movement for tolerance and acceptance in
the world,² Shriver said.

To which Biden added: ³I think that¹s true.²

Shriver: ³Discrimination persists, people make mockery and
institutionalization persists. We have finally found a part of ourselves is
a little bit angry about it. We¹re attacking words like ſretard¹ ­ that¹s a
common word.

After Shriver spoke, Biden was asked how policy changes would follow when
the Games have been largely uncovered by national media.

Biden: ³Let me tell you, if you notice, the fella I serve with has the
ability to bring focus on issues. And this is one of the areas were going to
focus on.²

Biden: ³There¹s a lot of barriers. We¹ve broken down barriers before. We¹re
going to break down more barriers.²



UPDATED FIRST POOL REPORT STARTS HERE

Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Boise, Idaho, Thursday, to attend the
Special Olympics World Winter Games. Air Force 2 touched down at 1:50 p.m.
following a nearly four-hour delay due to high winds on the Eastern
Seaboard.

Biden was greeted on the tarmac at Boise airport by Gov. Butch Otter, Lt.
Gov. Brad Little, Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, Attorney Lawrence Wasden,
Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna and Boise Mayor Dave Bieter.

Biden, who seemed to have been briefed about the governor¹s recent surgery
on his right shoulder, immediately reached to shake Otter¹s left hand.

Bieter, the lone Democrat among the greeters, had the longest conversation
with Biden, which lasted about 60 seconds before Biden waved to reporters
and climbed in a black limousine, which departed at 2:03 p.m. Biden then
headed to Qwest Arena downtown to attend figure skating at the Special
Olympics World Winter Games.

When Biden entered the arena at 2:25 p.m., he was applauded and spent
several minutes shaking hands. Before joining the crowd, he had donned a red
parka and a Special Olympics blue-and-white scarf. He was seated with
athlete Tim McConnell, who was draped with medals, and McConnell¹s mother,
Daphne. McConnell is a double-gold-medal speed skater from Enola,
Pennsylvania. Also with Biden were Olympic figure skating medalist Michelle
Kwan and Tim Shriver, board chairman of the Special Olympics and a son
Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

Biden watched five pairs in Division 2 pairs freestyle figure-skating
perform, three from Chinese Taipei, one from Mexico and one from Germany.
The teams were: Chang/Sung, Hung/Lin and Pan/Wang of Taipei;
Monreal/Visiconty of Mexico and Werner/Ziebe of Germany.

Biden then awarded medals to the pairs, while Kwan handed them bouquets.
Gold medalists were Werner/Ziebe; silver medal pair was Pan/Wang; bronze was
Monreal/Visiconty. Fourth place went to Hung/Ling and fifth of Chang/Sung.

Š..


AFTER AWARDING THE MEDALS, BIDEN SPOKE FOR 2 MINUTES ON THE ICE AT QWEST:

³It¹s an honor to be here. And it¹s a particular honor to be here with such
fine athletes.

³This fulfills a dream of mine ­ to walk out on the ice with Michelle Kwan.
And a dream to see such fine athletes.

³You have over 2,000 athletes with hears on the line, here competing from
100 countries. And what lives in the hearts of every one of these young
athletes ⿹ as my mother would say, lives in every heart ­ is bravery,
tenacity, grit and determination.²

³I bring greetings from President Obama, who wanted to be here today. I
assure you that his entire administration will focus on these fine athletes
and many, many others.²

Biden then headed to Boise State, where he met athletes and volunteers,
including medical personnel, at a ³Healthy Athletes² event. Also present
were U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

Biden congratulated athletes including Brandon Timmerman of Knoxville,
Tenn., a triple gold medalist in speed skating. He signed autographs and
had his picture taken.

To one athlete wearing medals around his neck, Biden gave the man a hug and
said, ³Congratulations! Look at this. Look at this. I never won one of these
­ and I played for years and years and years.²

Learning about the Healthy Athletes eyeglass program, which provides new
glasses and sunglasses to athletes on the spot, Biden joked with Michael
Barantes, a floor hockey team member from Costa Rica. Barantes¹ team plays
for bronze on Friday.

He also said, ³This is incredible. Our own health care system can learn from
what¹s happening here.²

Š..


Earlier, as he arrived and stood on the tarmac, Biden introduced Idaho
schools chief Luna to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and the pair
chatted briefly. Lt. Gov. Little, wearing a blue-and-white scarf that¹s been
a trademark of the Winter Games, removed it from his shoulders and presented
it to Susan Axelrod, president of Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy
and the wife of Obama senior advisor David Axelrod.

Members of Biden¹s delegation included Lisa Brown (red coat), Axelrod (red
wrap), Tim Shriver, Kareem Dale (short black trench coat), and Chester Finn,
president of the board of Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered and a special
assistant in the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and
Developmental Disabilities (with cane for sight-impaired).

After leaving the arena, Biden was to head for a "Healthy Athletes" event at
Boise State University, a program that teaches people with intellectual
disabilities healthy eating and living habits. Volunteers have been
providing medical, dental, vision and podiatry screenings for athletes and
non-athletes during the Games.

One-third of Special Olympics athletes cannot see well and need new or
different eyeglasses; six percent have serious untreated eye diseases; more
than 30 percent fail hearing tests, six times the rate of the general
population; and 35 percent have obvious tooth decay in the molars, up to 50
percent have obvious gum infections and 15 percent require urgent care. A
woman dressed as the Tooth Fairy has been helping convey the need for proper
tooth-brushing techniques.

About 2,500 athletes from nearly 100 countries have been in Boise, McCall
and Sun Valley, Idaho for the games.

U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick, D-Idaho, was to have been on Air Force 2, but
decided to remain in Washington to vote on the stimulus package. Minnick was
one of 11 House Democrats to oppose the original House bill. A freshman and
the lone Democrat in the Idaho delegation, Minnick joined his GOP colleagues
in opposing the plan. He proposed a smaller stimulus bill of his own.

Minnick's office released this statement: ³I very much regret not being able
to attend the World Special Olympics Winter Games today with Vice President
Biden,² Idaho Congressman Walt Minnick said. ³My duties in the U.S. House of
Representatives kept me in Washington, D.C., but I¹m glad to know the visit
is shining even more positive attention on such a fantastic event. The Games
have been great for Idaho, and I am pleased that Vice President Biden will
today get to see great performances which are representative of so many
wonderful athletes, coaches and volunteers.²





--

Release below, from the Obama campaign in July, 2008....


Obama Campaign Hires New Disability Vote Director

Campaign Continues to Strengthen Constituency Vote Operation

Chicago, IL - Kareem Dale, founder and chief executive officer of The Dale Law Group (DLG) in Chicago, has been appointed as the Obama campaign's Disability Vote Director, effective July 14, 2008. Dale, partially blind, will help broaden the campaign's reach and involve even more voices in this coalition for change.

In his role as Disability Vote Director, Dale will be responsible for all disability outreach efforts for the campaign, including attending national conferences, coordinating grassroots efforts, speaking at events as a surrogate for the campaign, and ensuring that campaign locations are accessible for all Americans with disabilities.

"Throughout this campaign, Barack Obama has insisted that we can change our politics and involve new voters in the process if we focus on our common hopes as Americans," Campaign Manager David Plouffe said. "Kareem Dale shares Barack Obama's fundamental commitment to building a world free of unnecessary barriers, stereotypes, and discrimination, and we're excited he's a part of this campaign."

Fifty-four million Americans - roughly 1 in 6 - personally experience some form of disability. Senator Obama is committed to empowering people with disabilities so that they can fulfill the American dream and take full advantage of their talents and become independent, integrated members of society. "I look forward to encouraging all Americans with disabilities to support a candidate who is going to bring real change to their lives," Dale said.

Prior to his appointment as Disability Vote Director, Dale also served as a volunteer on the Disability Policy and the Arts Policy Committees for the Obama For America campaign.

Dale is a native Chicagoan and received his bachelor's degree in Advertising from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He graduated Cum Laude with a law degree and an MBA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May, 1999.

###

For Immediate Release
July 21, 2008
Obama Press Office; 312-819-2423

5 Comments

Four years ago, I was FORCED to take drugs in the hospital. I was there for "tests" and I did not sign ANY permission. They broke my teeth at the gums to FORCE me to take these drugs, even though they had my medical history and they knew that I had life threatening reactions to these drugs. Of course, this made permanent and horrendous responses. The legal system would not help me at all, because of the FDA preemption. I believe that this has now been overturned by the Supreme Court, however, I believe it is too late to get a suit going now.

Due to this assault, and after 38 years of working and paying taxes, I've been illegally FORCED to get a disability designation and illegally fired from my job. The insurance company took away my retirement COMPLETELY and FOREVER and replaced it with a tiny "benefit", which is NOT enough to live on. I've been FORCED to pay the medical bills that my employer REQUIRED, in order for them to fire me.

Again, the legal system has no help. The EEOC has no help. The VR has no help - in fact they lied to me and they have cost me two years of time and expensive "steps" that they require throughout that time. The government and private websites have NO jobs for a person who is BARRED from working for anyone. They tell me that they have NO help at all. The "charities" will not help, because VR will not help. Of course, the internet is flooded with scams directed to the disabled.

It might sound a little like bigotry, but as far as I can find out, the people who have "handicaps" have a way to find a job, and the disabled job websites are aimed toward them. They are getting a great deal of financial help.
Therefore, I do not support wasting time and millions of dollars on unethical research, that are not finding any solutions. Meanwhile, I'm NOT getting a single dime from the government.

I'm ABLE to do just about any that anyone else does. I NEED a living wage, viable, HOME job or business. I have aphasia, so I'm UNABLE to do telephone work. Is the government going to help me - preferably before I die? Is there any help anywhere?

As far as the "barriers", the barrier is the government. How in the world can they tell people that they cannot work for anyone, and then not have any viable, HOME jobs or businesses? And I can't find anything on the internet or at these government services that are helping, in fact they are doing everything that they can to stop me from finding an income.

You have my email address, please contact me as soon as possible, if you have any way to find out why this happening, why the government is HARMING persons with disabilities, an employer who is willing to work with a PWD. This is an immediate need. ANY JOB AT ALL!!

PEOPLE ARE DYING, SSI and SSD are not the same SSI has become poltically correct for welfare. SSD is government taking your home. I am a barren 60 year old women, widowed under Catholic rules except I did divorce before 10 years.I helped raise over 20 children some foster children all disabled and most until adulthood. I was tough I wanted them to grab the world by the tail and hang on. It would be a happy bumpy ride: Cheerleading, performing arts, class president, now one has a husband in Iraq. I was disabled then but kept going back to work to supplement our income boys eat a lot, they always needed shoes. I tried to be an example until I could no longer work. SSD is measured in last quarters worked.This is an outdated method for disabled people. Most jobs do not last 30 years now and there cannot be a chicken in every pot for Social Security Disabled people unable to qualify because of quarters nobody understands it, or surgeries to save your life or trying to get better. Proof of any work should be enough not appeal, appeal, appeal... If SSI helps addicts,alcoholics,Aids patients no problem they only need an address to send a check. SocialSecurityDisabled Workers past and present should not lose their homes, big problem total discrimination. If we only work part time we are paying for them. That is what this country is about. We are a resource.Yet, we are too busy appealing,training-appealing,training=appealing again and again never to touch that money we worked for.
I was trained and worked in entertainment we are talking about A list award winner work. As so often pay was low.
I became ill and changed to Caregiver again I had been trained as first minority Dr Assistant on West Coast I graduated with honors each time and worked in both fields. I helped write the Americans With Disabilities Act with then Governor Hatfield in Oregon. I am Afro-American I married a Haitian that did a lot of work for his people. Yet in tears I write this. I have been Rushed to Judgement because I will not give up my childrens heritage,my home with sweet memories. No food stamps, no meals on wheels, had to eat. I got a bad mortgage now I do not qualify I am at 9 percent I took out credit cards to pay bills and eat now maxed.Currently cannot work I have problems sitting up for lengths of time and breathing yet again I am told to train as receptionist I will need extra diapers and a aide sure get me a job. I will contribute maybe a volunteer someday. Epilepsy and spinal injury and infection lots of pain and darkness. I think the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act can solve this,add SSD to it specifically. California Governor Shwartnegger abolished affirmative action and the dominoe effect began ignoring Batke(colleges) and other rights like Civil Rights of 1960s and now the Lilli Ledbetter Act. Jerry Brown, Past governor believes it is unconstitutional as I. I was hurt in California. I worked in jobs that men get paid more. I have been fighting since 1991 Lilli Ledbetters Fair Pay Act starts in 1990 please add SSD to it work between surgeries made
it worse. I was rushed to judgement because nobody could understand me. Words on paper is better communication for me but not allowed. So many physical and emotional problems after saving my patients life. Oh I worked with mostly hospice so there is no quarters timeline on death often part time for little pay I could not waitress.. I paid taxes and SSD and SS. I gave back but quarters mesurement timeline are more important I have not given up I am also writing this for the people that have died or stand to before or under SSD. FOR Gwen(passed away) Monique(held up by employer), Denise(passed away) Ed(passed away) Dotty(in homeless flux terminal) all these people volunteered to help others when they could not work no pay unsung heroes not receiving enough benefits or none like me. I am paid 574 a month my friends are exhausted. I worked for the government because the job was funded by Dept of Aging, State, and private insurance I read my check. My home is in one state and I worked and see specialist in another. It is the quarters and even trying to work that stops me. Help Me Please I am beginning to feel like Dr Drew no plasma for the inventor. Please feel free to shorten this but please let The Honorable President of the United States of America, Barack Obama know what is really happening I did weigh 240 I am now between 115 and 100lbs so how much longer can I help others I want to. Maybe this is why I am still here.With a foreign name and very independent, I protest against people who believe handicapped are getting all the jobs and help I must now leave my hospital bed and go to District Court against the Commissioner of Social Security all my lawyers became exasperated and quit. I am not alone many men and women are in the same boat that is probably why they sit in wheelchairs and stare at walls nobody wants to be a burden or leave their homes are we not the home of Mom and Apple Pie. Did we not go to war to protect the people of this country I guess not better we stay quiet. This is a new generation baby boomers we know protest and I tell you it will happen without help. I could not even qualify for a recovery check like the banks/ 500million went for backed up social security disability.See Recovery and Reinvestment.
What was it really spent for or just let people die our shame. It could be you is your job going to be thirty years how long in between will your family suffer because of money you earned and cannot get think about it everybody should be angry people are dying you got a quarter.

PEOPLE ARE DYING, SSI and SSD are not the same SSI has become poltically correct for welfare. SSD is government taking your home. I am a barren 60 year old women, widowed under Catholic rules except I did divorce before 10 years.I helped raise over 20 children some foster children all disabled and most until adulthood. I was tough I wanted them to grab the world by the tail and hang on. It would be a happy bumpy ride: Cheerleading, performing arts, class president, now one has a husband in Iraq. I was disabled then but kept going back to work to supplement our income boys eat a lot, they always needed shoes. I tried to be an example until I could no longer work. SSD is measured in last quarters worked.This is an outdated method for disabled people. Most jobs do not last 30 years now and there cannot be a chicken in every pot for Social Security Disabled people unable to qualify because of quarters nobody understands it, or surgeries to save your life or trying to get better. Proof of any work should be enough not appeal, appeal, appeal... If SSI helps addicts,alcoholics,Aids patients no problem they only need an address to send a check. SocialSecurityDisabled Workers past and present should not lose their homes, big problem total discrimination. If we only work part time we are paying for them. That is what this country is about. We are a resource.Yet, we are too busy appealing,training-appealing,training=appealing again and again never to touch that money we worked for.
I was trained and worked in entertainment we are talking about A list award winner work. As so often pay was low.
I became ill and changed to Caregiver again I had been trained as first minority Dr Assistant on West Coast I graduated with honors each time and worked in both fields. I helped write the Americans With Disabilities Act with then Governor Hatfield in Oregon. I am Afro-American I married a Haitian that did a lot of work for his people. Yet in tears I write this. I have been Rushed to Judgement because I will not give up my childrens heritage,my home with sweet memories. No food stamps, no meals on wheels, had to eat. I got a bad mortgage now I do not qualify I am at 9 percent I took out credit cards to pay bills and eat now maxed.Currently cannot work I have problems sitting up for lengths of time and breathing yet again I am told to train as receptionist I will need extra diapers and a aide sure get me a job. I will contribute maybe a volunteer someday. Epilepsy and spinal injury and infection lots of pain and darkness. I think the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act can solve this,add SSD to it specifically. California Governor Shwartnegger abolished affirmative action and the dominoe effect began ignoring Batke(colleges) and other rights like Civil Rights of 1960s and now the Lilli Ledbetter Act. Jerry Brown, Past governor believes it is unconstitutional as I. I was hurt in California. I worked in jobs that men get paid more. I have been fighting since 1991 Lilli Ledbetters Fair Pay Act starts in 1990 please add SSD to it work between surgeries made
it worse. I was rushed to judgement because nobody could understand me. Words on paper is better communication for me but not allowed. So many physical and emotional problems after saving my patients life. Oh I worked with mostly hospice so there is no quarters timeline on death often part time for little pay I could not waitress.. I paid taxes and SSD and SS. I gave back but quarters mesurement timeline are more important I have not given up I am also writing this for the people that have died or stand to before or under SSD. FOR Gwen(passed away) Monique(held up by employer), Denise(passed away) Ed(passed away) Dotty(in homeless flux terminal) all these people volunteered to help others when they could not work no pay unsung heroes not receiving enough benefits or none like me. I am paid 574 a month my friends are exhausted. I worked for the government because the job was funded by Dept of Aging, State, and private insurance I read my check. My home is in one state and I worked and see specialist in another. It is the quarters and even trying to work that stops me. Help Me Please I am beginning to feel like Dr Drew no plasma for the inventor. Please feel free to shorten this but please let The Honorable President of the United States of America, Barack Obama know what is really happening I did weigh 240 I am now between 115 and 100lbs so how much longer can I help others I want to. Maybe this is why I am still here.With a foreign name and very independent, I protest against people who believe handicapped are getting all the jobs and help I must now leave my hospital bed and go to District Court against the Commissioner of Social Security all my lawyers became exasperated and quit. I am not alone many men and women are in the same boat that is probably why they sit in wheelchairs and stare at walls nobody wants to be a burden or leave their homes are we not the home of Mom and Apple Pie. Did we not go to war to protect the people of this country I guess not better we stay quiet. This is a new generation baby boomers we know protest and I tell you it will happen without help. I could not even qualify for a recovery check like the banks/ 500million went for backed up social security disability.See Recovery and Reinvestment.
What was it really spent for or just let people die our shame. It could be you is your job going to be thirty years how long in between will your family suffer because of money you earned and cannot get think about it everybody should be angry people are dying you got a quarter.

Mr. Dale, please consider those (like me) on disability that never get the stimulus checks that we need due to outstanding student loans(in my case from 1984) that was dismissed only to be reinstated by another govt. dept. I will never be able to pay it back (14,000) while receiving $750.00 per month. That is for rent, utilities etc. I want to help due something for the economy, after all the gov. does for me. By the way, I thank God for a man like President Obama every day. I have made mistakes in my life, but now I am inspired everyday by him. Thank you and Him.

Man, biden is old. when he is out of office he will have to start running for office from the hospice.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on February 13, 2009 5:23 AM.

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