(Adding context for archiving website pages from past administration)
During the Obama administration, there was a page on the White House website that had information about federal policy regarding people with disabilities. Its URL was https://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/disabilities. Not under the Trump administration. The Trump-run White House website — which went live moments after Friday’s inauguration of President Trump — says: “You are not authorized to access this page.”
The Obama White House website page labeled “Contact the Disability Issues Outreach Team | The White House” isn’t there any longer either. Click on it and it now says: “The requested page/disability-issues-contact could not be found.” And the Obama White House website’s fact sheet about expanding opportunities for people with disabilities is gone too. (You can see the former disabilities page here.)
Archiving website pages from past administrations is common practice, and restructuring websites from administration to administration is, too. What is interesting here is that the website team didn’t find the time to make sure there were replacements for the disabilities information they were taking down before Inauguration Day.
Just moments after President Donald Trump took the oath of office Friday, the official White House website was transformed into a set of policy pledges offering the broad contours of the Trump administration’s top priorities — including fierce support for law enforcement and gun owners’ rights to defend themselves, the seeming immediate elimination of the White House’s policy page on climate change and a notable absence of any directives involving President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
Trump did not talk about expanding opportunity for people with disabilities during the primary and general election campaigns, but he did become known for mocking a New York Times reporter with disabilities. In late 2015, Trump went after reporter Serge Kovaleski, who has arthrogryposis, a physical disability that affects the flexibility and movement of his arms. Trump said at a rally in South Carolina, “You’ve got to see this guy,” and then jerked his arms spastically. Later Trump said he did not know Kovaleski had a disability and wasn’t trying to mock him. Kovaleski noted that Trump had met him repeatedly.
If you search for the word “disabilities” on the Trump White House website, you get links to historical stories and posts about how people with disabilities can visit the White House and apply for fellowships.
Here’s the list of URLs: