Friday, September 05, 2008

We have a "special responsibility" to disabled people

Long before Sarah Palin and her child (the one born last April with Down Syndrome) were even a gleam in John McCain's ambitious eye, I ran across this video in which Barack Obama describes what he would do about federal policies that assist physically and otherwise challenged people.

I have to say that I was surprised by the quality of it. The man knows the subject; he actually knows what is he talking about. And he has a concrete command of what government can and should do to assist disabled folks taking their rightful place in society. It is absolutely worth watching. [3:40]

Some of the assumptions that underlie his policy proposals:
  • "We must build a world free of unnecessary barriers, stereotypes and discrimination."
  • "Every nation has a special responsibility to look after those who can't live on their own."
  • "We must support independent community-based living for anyone who chooses it."
Take the time to watch this. You'll be impressed. For Barack Obama, disabled people are not some "special interest" or suitable object of charity; disabled people are part of the national "we."

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