During your campaign and at your inauguration you offered messages on inclusion that were strengthened by your past and promised actions. My heart is filled with joy and a sense of hope. Hope that real lives will be changed for the better because of the actions of your administration and our collective commitment to help. I come to these beliefs as a person with a disability who has promoted disability rights for most of my life, spanning 76 years.
If we want meaningful inclusion throughout American society, then disability perspectives must be present at all decision-making tables in government. People with disabilities may need accommodations, but those should not be solely understood to mean separate or special treatment or programs or disability-related appointments.
· Consider qualified individuals with disabilities when filling positions in the Departments of Defense, State, Agriculture, Treasury, Transportation, Energy, and Interior as well as in the Departments of Education, Labor, Veteran Affairs and Health and Human Services
· Consider people with disability perspectives for appointments to all kinds of input groups such as committees, boards, and commissions
· Ask all government leaders to promote and consider disability perspectives in hiring
· Mount targeted recruitment campaigns by reaching out to disability organizations for qualified candidates
· Recognize that disability perspectives are available to you from leaders in the disability community, everyday citizens with disabilities, and their parents, siblings, other relatives, friends, and advocates