Using Your Civic Sense

Whether Barack Obama wins the Presidency or not, he has already made history.

On February 10th of 2007, Barack Obama announced his campaign for the Presidency. He was speaking before a crowd in Springfield, Illinois. But thanks to 21st Century technology, the entire nation can watch the full speech - unfiltered by the news media or pundits - simply by logging on to Obama's Web site. This includes citizens who are deaf and hard-of-hearing, since the speech is closed-captioned.

Obama was the first Presidential candidate to caption videos on his Web site.

Several others in the race quickly followed suit, though not all of them. And none of the candidates has captioned every video posted online.

This is just one example of how the deaf and hard-of-hearing are unable to fully participate as American citizens -- even in this era of amazing technological advances that give us access to more information about candidates, campaigns, and issues than ever before in the history of mankind.

This blog is going to serve as a testing ground for using Web-based technology to get information or analysis about Election 2008. We are selecting a handful of regular bloggers who are deaf or hard-of-hearing to wander around the Web and share their experiences, both good and bad. We hope this will generate a lot of discussion in the deaf and hard-of-hearing community about what works, and what doesn't.

We'll take what you have to say, and try to find ways to make improvements that all public broadcasters can incorporate into their own Web strategies - to the benefit of every deaf and hard-of-hearing person with a Civic Sense.



The Presidential Candidates

The Presidential Candidates should thank the technology because it is one of the reasons why they have successful campaigns particularly newly elected President Barack Obama. But the election is over and we have already our new President for the next four years. The big question is what are the plans of our new President for the next four years? Education is a vital ingredient in the success of a nation. As Americans emerge from the afterglow of the recent presidential elections and president-elect Obama prepares to take the reins of the country, education is a topic on the minds of many. What will he do to improve the lot of students and teachers in America? According to an article at The Apple, Obama’s first order of business when it comes to education will be to look at No Child Left Behind. He doesn’t want to scrap the program, but he does want to reform it, particularly when it comes to standardized testing. He is against preparing students all year to “fill in bubbles.” Referencing schools, both Obama and vice president-elect Biden support charter schools, so long as they perform up to standard. Teachers at charter schools and beyond will find Obama incentives like Teacher Service Scholarships and various pay rewards to be a great help. In addition, boosting Early Head Start programs and providing tax credits (which Obama calls the “American Opportunity” credit) for college education are at the forefront of the president-elect’s plan. Repairing faith in the American educational system via these ideas and more will surely lead to the kind of credit repair the country needs – where the currency is a dynamic workforce that is prepared to lead America into the future.