Washington, June 19 – By highlighting a young woman with autism who is unable to speak or walk in the video “Making a Difference,” Gov. Jeb Bush brings attention to an important group of Americans.
“Not being able to speak is not the same as not having anything to say,” Berthy De La Rosa-Aponte of Cooper City, Fla., explains in the video shown Friday at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority Conference. “People with disabilities, they want freedom, just like anybody else.”
“We took special care for the most vulnerable in our society because I do believe that as a conservative that believes in limited government, we need to put the most vulnerable in our society first – front of the line – because they’re of as much value as everybody else,” Bush said Friday at the conference. “And others need to take a step back.”
Bush went on to highlight people he believed to be most vulnerable including “a child with developmental disabilities.”
Fully one-in-five Americans have a disability and polls show that most of them want to work. Yet 70 percent of working-age Americans with disabilities are outside of the workforce. This leads to poverty and costs taxpayers billions of dollars in disability benefits.
America has 56 million people with disabilities, more than 20 million of whom are working age. More than 50 percent of Americans report having a family member or close friend with a disability. Fifty-two percent of Democrats report that they or a loved one have a disability, and for Republicans, a smaller number of 44 percent report they have a disability. Surprisingly, Independents have the largest number of voters who say they have a disability, with 58 percent saying yes. This shows that swing voters with disabilities and their families are up for grabs.