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The Faces of Health Care: Timothy S.

Barack Obama's White House Presidential Office (D) posted a Blog Post on July 29, 2015 | 9:00 am - Original Item - Comments (View)

What has health reform meant to this country? That's a question that millions of Americans answer every day. Timothy is one of them. Read more of their stories here.

"[The Affordable Care Act] literally saved my life."

Before the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Timothy S. from Saint Paul, Minnesota was forced to drop his health insurance because it was too expensive -- and "essentially worthless."

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Direct Video Calling Increases Access for Deaf Citizens

Barack Obama's White House Presidential Office (D) posted a Blog Post on July 28, 2015 | 6:05 pm - Original Item - Comments (View)

Technology has given us incredible new tools to communicate with friends, family, and colleagues, and all Americans should enjoy these benefits — including, and especially, those with disabilities.

For those with hearing or speech impairments, digital video and other tools have helped these communities stay connected and working, rather than isolated. So, as the White House celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we’re announcing some new steps to help the government stay accessible to all Americans using the latest technology. 

We are pleased to announce that two agencies that routinely interface with the disabilities community — the U.S. Census Bureau and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) — will soon be taking up direct video calling technology to allow Deaf citizens to communicate directly with American Sign Language (ASL)-fluent call operators there. This work responds to the President’s 2011 executive order calling upon agencies to use technology to improve customer service, and is another step in the right direction.

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The Faces of Health Care: Susan F.

Barack Obama's White House Presidential Office (D) posted a Blog Post on July 28, 2015 | 9:00 am - Original Item - Comments (View)

What has health reform meant to this country? That's a question that millions of Americans answer every day. Susan is one of them. Read more of their stories here.

"Everyone should be free to study their passions and pursue goals, chronic illness or not."

Susan F. from Grover Beach, California, wrote the President last November to tell him how she's benefited from the Affordable Care Act.

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A Look Back at We the People Petitions: 2011 to Today

Barack Obama's White House Presidential Office (D) posted a Blog Post on July 28, 2015 | 6:00 am - Original Item - Comments (View)

“My administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in government.”

—   President Barack Obama

Since we launched We the People in 2011, millions of Americans have engaged with their government on the issues that matter to them. This groundbreaking online platform has made petitioning the government, a First Amendment right, more accessible than ever. Over the past few years, the Obama administration has taken a stance on a number of causes that citizens really care about and used the We the People petition platform to voice their concerns. Check out We the People -- where you can create or sign petitions -- here

Today, the White House released responses to 20 outstanding We the People petitions. We're recommitting to the platform in a big way, integrating with Change.org to reach even more Americans and guaranteeing that you'll hear from us within 60 days after the petition you signed has gathered the required signatures.

As we gear up for this new phase, take a look back at responses from the last four years.

1. The President Records a Special Message for a Petition on Reducing Gun Violence

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How We're Changing the Way We Respond to Petitions

Barack Obama's White House Presidential Office (D) posted a Blog Post on July 28, 2015 | 2:14 am - Original Item - Comments (View)
President Barack Obama signs S. 517, Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act

President Barack Obama signs S. 517, Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, in the Oval Office, Aug. 1, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The Right to Petition is a Constitutional Right

In its final clause, the First Amendment of the Constitution protects the right of the American people “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” It’s right up there along religion, speech, press, and assembly.

Yet while it guarantees the right to petition, the First Amendment doesn’t explain how to petition or what the government owes in response. Over the years, many people have petitioned the government by sending written letters to the White House and Congress, asking for assistance and expressing grievances on a variety of issues. For example, in 1897, Native Hawaiians who petitioned Congress were successful in temporarily blocking the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands. And in 1874, suffragette Susan B. Anthony petitioned Congress to remit a fine imposed on her after she was arrested for casting a vote in the 1872 election in Rochester, New York.

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My ADA Story: A Deafblind Lawyer Dismantling Digital Barriers

Barack Obama's White House Presidential Office (D) posted a Blog Post on July 27, 2015 | 3:19 pm - Original Item - Comments (View)

Haben Girma, a deafblind lawyer, introduced the President at a White House reception last week to mark the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

This afternoon, she sent the following message to the White House email list, in which she shares her personal story and explains how the ADA is helping Americans with disabilities continue to tear down barriers.

Didn't get the email? Sign up for email updates here.

I recently had the honor of introducing President Obama at a White House reception commemorating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The President shared a moving story of how, in the years before Congress passed the ADA, his father-in-law -- who had multiple sclerosis -- would sometimes hold himself back because he didn't want his disability to inconvenience others. With that story, President Obama reminded Americans that "We've got to tear down barriers externally, but we also have to tear down barriers internally."

As someone who has struggled against attitudinal barriers, I loved hearing our President encourage the world to view access for people with disabilities as a civil and human right.

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President Obama Celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the ADA

Barack Obama's White House Presidential Office (D) posted a Video (2) on July 27, 2015 | 12:36 pm - Original Item - Comments (View)
President Obama honored those who made the Americans with Disabilities Act the law of the land – the activists, congressional representatives, and stakeholders who worked tirelessly to ensure that millions of Americans with disabilities have the chance to make their contributions to the world.

The Faces of Health Care: Christopher C.

Barack Obama's White House Presidential Office (D) posted a Blog Post on July 27, 2015 | 9:00 am - Original Item - Comments (View)

What has health reform meant to this country? That's a question that millions of Americans answer every day. Christopher is one of them. Read more of their stories here.

"I am writing to thank you, I believe, for my life."

Last September, Christopher C. from Batesville, Arkansas was diagnosed with esophageal cancer.

Before the Affordable Care Act, Christopher, who worked for a small business, had no health insurance coverage. Fortunately, because of the protections provided by the ACA, he was able to obtain insurance that kept him out of financial ruin. Since the beginning of 2015, he has been on Medicaid, which has provided him quality coverage as he continued his treatment.

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President Obama Travels to Kenya and Ethiopia

Barack Obama's White House Presidential Office (D) posted a Blog Post on July 26, 2015 | 6:04 pm - Original Item - Comments (View)
President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Safaricom Indoor Arena in Nairobi, Kenya

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Safaricom Indoor Arena in Nairobi, Kenya, July 26, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

This week President Obama is traveling in Kenya and Ethiopia to attend the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit and to meet with leaders from government, business, and civil society. The trip is reinforcing the U.S. commitment to expanding economic growth and trade, strengthening democracy on a global scale, and investing in the next generation of African leaders.

Follow along for highlights from the President's trip.

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President Obama Travels to Kenya and Ethiopia

Barack Obama's White House Presidential Office (D) posted a Blog Post on July 26, 2015 | 6:04 pm - Original Item - Comments (View)
President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Safaricom Indoor Arena in Nairobi, Kenya

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Safaricom Indoor Arena in Nairobi, Kenya, July 26, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

This week President Obama is traveling in Kenya and Ethiopia to attend the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit and to meet with leaders from government, business, and civil society. The trip is reinforcing the U.S. commitment to expanding economic growth and trade, strengthening democracy on a global scale, and investing in the next generation of African leaders.

Follow along for highlights from the President's trip.

read more

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