From His Desk in the White House!
My name is Gregory Trainor, and I was born deaf in Winona, Minnesota. From a very early age, I have worn a hearing aid. My mom trained me to speak words by using the John Tracy Program, and I began my education at a public school. When my mom saw that I wasn’t getting enough education, she had me attend Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf where I learned American Sign Language (ASL) from teachers, houseparents, coaches, principals, and friends. I have faced discrimination due to my deafness. Sometimes it was people who were shocked to learn I drive a car. I also struggled to find a good job in the private sector. When President George H. W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law on July 26, 1990, I personally felt that glass ceiling begin to crack. In April 1991, while I was a student at Gallaudet, I was hired at the White House. Since then, I have had the privilege of serving the American people by responding to their letters on behalf of four Presidents. I'm now a Special Assistant in the White House Office of Presidential Correspondence, and my career as a civil servant here has spanned more than 25 consecutive years. Our team has gone through millions of letters and emails on behalf of President Obama. Correspondence is one of the keys to keeping the bridge strong between the President and the American people (and there are other keys that keep the bridge strong, too!) In our work here, I see the cracks in the ceiling becoming wider every day.