Our Stories

Leah Katz-Hernandez

Leah Katz-Hernandez

My name is Leah Katz-Hernandez and I'm for President Obama. I'm for him because he has provided significant opportunities for youth with disabilities in my generation to succeed.

The trailblazing nature of Barack Obama is what originally inspired me to support him in 2008. Being deaf, I recognized that the world is full of unique obstacles. When President Obama was elected, I felt that those obstacles became smaller and we all had more ability to break through the glass ceiling. I dreamed of a career in politics, even though I communicate bilingually in written English and American Sign Language.

In 2012, I've seen how the President’s policies have directly benefited me and my generation. Education is the path to success, and in the last four years President Obama has fought to protect and promote opportunities for college students. Employment is also critical to youth with disabilities' future, and President Obama doesn't just support legislative solutions to improve disability employment; he takes aggressive administration actions such as executive orders that have shown that one can lead by example in the White House.

Indeed, Obama for America continues to lead by example, ensuring that the campaign for America's progress is totally inclusive. I'm working at Obama for America because President Obama is the kind of leader we need for the best opportunities for our youth with disabilities’ future.

John Register

John Register
Paralympic athlete from Colorado & national co-chair for the campaign

I never paid attention to the world of disability until I became a part of it. As a disabled veteran and Paralympic athlete, I have seen firsthand the stereotypes and the fears projected onto this community based on the perceptions of others. Before my injury I really never knew this existed to such a degree.

All people, whether they have a disability or not, want to be treated with dignity and respect. People want to have access to all parts of the American dream and be advanced for their knowledge, skills, and abilities.

This is why I support President Barack Obama.

President Obama’s leadership on disability issues should be unquestioned. He has championed measures that greatly improve the lives of Americans with disabilities, including =better health care options and outcomes (ACA), equal access to technology (21st century CVAA), the creation of real employment opportunities (implementation of Section 503 and Executive Order 13548), and better access to transportation (TSA Cares). This only scratches the surface of his great work.

The President sees the disability community as contributing to the American fabric just as much as any other group, and he backs it up with his actions.

David Chadderton & Matty Lazo-Chadderton

David Chadderton

I’m David Chadderton, 28, from Cary, North Carolina, and I have autism. I support President Obama because he advocates for people with disabilities. The disability community needs a strong, visionary advocate in the White House, and President Obama is that person. He understands that we all come from different backgrounds.

I grew up with my brother, Andrew, and my mom, Matty Lazo-Chadderton, who was a single mother from Peru. This came with many challenges. My mother wanted us to live the American Dream, and I think as a result of all she did, I can say that today I am doing just that. I admire her for all she has done for my brother and me. She has not only given us every opportunity, but she has also always given back to the community. I remember growing up going to community and political meetings with her. But I also saw her work hard for everything we had. She always made me feel like I was going to succeed. She says she moved to North Carolina because it had good services for kids with autism like me. She left everyone behind, just to give me a chance at getting the right start.

Today, even though I have autism and there are a lot of obstacles for people like me, I have obtained a high school diploma, a technical college certification, and am currently working with Americorps—giving back to the community—just like my mother has shown me.

I am proud to volunteer for the campaign and to work for the re-election of the President. People with disabilities need him to continue to support improved educational opportunities and access to health services.

Matthew Kerry

Matthew Kerry

My name is Matthew Kerry and I am currently a field organizer in Michigan. The road I've traveled to get where I am today has been long and strenuous. Six years ago, at the age of 17, I broke my neck and was paralyzed from my shoulders down. I knew that, due to my many limitations, my chances of living a life of prosperity and accomplishment were greatly reduced, but I refused to sit back and wait for my destiny to be written for me.

I fight for President Obama's re-election every day because he has passed legislation and advocated ideals that have not only changed the lives of countless people in my situation, but have given us an equal chance of pursuing the American dream. By lifting the ban on federal funding for stem cell research and signing the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act, the President has restored our dream that one day, American innovation will be at the forefront in discovering a cure for spinal cord injuries. His passage of the Affordable Care Act allows me to stay on my parents' insurance until I'm 26, allowing me to maintain coverage while pursuing law school. Now, my severe pre-existing condition is no longer a lifetime burden that allows insurance companies to dictate when and if they want to provide me with care. I have a personal stake in this election, and I will continue to fight for President Obama because I know he's fighting for me.