Davenport, Iowa, June 23 – While disability issues are not yet hot-button topics in the presidential campaign, they are becoming more prominent. When The RespectAbility Report’s Liz Seffrin asked Sen. Bernie Sanders about a specific plan to increase competitive integrated employment for people with disabilities in America, he promised to work on the issue.
“I have worked with the disability community in my own state,” Sanders said at a town hall in Davenport, Iowa on May 28, 2015. “People with disabilities must have all of the opportunities possible open to them from an educational point of view and from an employment point of view. So I promise you we will work on that issue.”
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.