The Arc’s Peter V. Berns on the White House Blog

One thing I have learned in my 3 ½ years as CEO of The Arc is that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), their parents, siblings and family members are a passionate lot.   So when the White House invited us to bring in 150 of The Arc’s chapter leaders, including people with I/DD, I knew we would have an enthusiastic response.  Yet little did I expect the extraordinary energy that erupted when President Obama entered the room to speak to the group.  Our leaders from throughout the country were quick to their feet with a rousing welcome, rising again when the President concluded his remarks telling the disability community “I’ve got your back.”

– The Arc’s CEO Peter Berns pens a guest post for the The White House blog with thoughts on The Arc’s White House visit during the Community Leaders Briefing (which included a surprise visit from President Barack Obama).

In case you missed President’s Obama’s remarks, you can view them below:

2 thoughts on “The Arc’s Peter V. Berns on the White House Blog

  1. I have no voice in the US Senate being a Washington, DC resident. The Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia that oversees OPM and determine how well they enforce EO-13548, EO-13583, and MD 715.Those Senators will only address their constituents. Therefore, how do I get my voice heard by someone that can get something done? (Open government??)

    If the President really wants to have public engagement, where do we go to get our voices heard and positively addressed? The tools may be in place, but there is very little meaningful enforcement of his Executive Orders (See MD-715 reports). If so, please direct me to that information. I am tied of hearing that I am overqualified and people with my skills are very difficult to place (NIH). With the proper use of Schedule A hiring Authority (expected service fellowship programs), positions can be created to overcome those barriers.

    Again, why must we go to the media before we get help? Yes, I am available to help bring these issues to the forefront, because families have been destroyed by unemployment and disability. There are a number of us that are highly qualified and able to work and we did everything right and deserve governmental assistance. Yes, I am living off food stamps, but I did train in Medicine and Healthcare research for food stamps. I am fighting off homelessness due to chronic unemployment and discrimination in the Federal government. (See 2010 NIH MD-715 report) H E L P !

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