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Date archive for: July 2015

Jeb Bush: Empower People with Disabilities

Washington, July 31 – In celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), former Gov. Jeb Bush stressed the need to empower people with disabilities. Focusing his efforts on students and people entering the workforce, Bush touted his record as governor of Florida to illustrate his plans if he were to win the presidency.

“Florida has a significant number of citizens who live, learn and work with disabilities, and it is my fundamental belief that they should be given opportunities to do so with support, respect and dignity,” Bush wrote in The Journal by IJReview. “During my eight years in office, I worked to create policies and programs so that these citizens were no longer overlooked and they could enjoy greater independence and choice over the services they receive.”

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Hoyer: We’ve come a long way, but we’re not there yet

Washington, July 30 – “Yes we’ve come a far way, yes we’ve accomplished much, but we are strong in will to strive to seek to find and not to yield until we get to the real realization of that promise of the ADA and the promise of America,” Steny Hoyer (D- Md) said to applause at a rally hosted by the National Council for Independent Living (NCIL) on Capitol Hill Tuesday.

Hoyer has received great acclaim because of his work in the disability community. Twenty-five years ago when the American Disabilities Act (ADA) was in its early stages, Hoyer led the effort to pass the act.

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Sanders: People with Disabilities Need Jobs

Washington, July 29 – “In the year 2015, it is unacceptable that over 80 percent of adults with disabilities are unemployed,” Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders said to the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) during its rally on Capitol Hill Tuesday. “People need work. They need jobs.”

NCIL held its annual conference on Capitol Hill in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The act, signed into law by George H.W Bush, was designed to eliminate any discrimination of people with disabilities from public spaces, transportation, and employment. However, since its passing, not much has changed by way of employment of people with disabilities. NCIL advocates for the rights of people with disabilities and featured speakers who helped stress this message during its rally.

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Cathy McMorris Rodgers: Every Opportunity for Those with Disabilities to Live American Dream

Washington, July 29 – “We want every opportunity for those with disabilities to have the opportunity to live the American Dream,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) said during a rally hosted by the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) on Capitol Hill Tuesday.

“We celebrate those who went before us and opened up so many more opportunities: early intervention and IDEA [Individuals with Disabilities Education Act], and the opportunity to go to school but, you know what, there’s more work to be done. We want to live independently, we want to work.”

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Walker Proclaims ADA 25th Anniversary Day

Washington, July 28 – Gov. Scott Walker proclaimed that Sunday, July 26, 2015, is Americans with Disabilities Act 25th Anniversary Day.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990 by President George H.W. Bush and was immediately lauded as a breakthrough for people with disabilities. This act prohibits the discrimination of people living with disabilities, enabling millions of Americans with disabilities to go into schools, civic institutions, and the workforce to create a better future for themselves and their families.

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Clinton Campaign Marks ADA Anniversary; Hands Over Twitter Account to Inspiring Mom Sara

Washington, July 27 – As people around the country celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Clinton campaign handed over its Twitter account to a disability advocate and mom named Sara.

Sara, a nurse from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, used the opportunity to share the story of her 16-year-old son Adam, who has Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (a severe form of epilepsy), with Clinton’s nearly four million Twitter followers.

I’m Sara—mom, nurse & lifelong Iowan. I’m taking over @HillaryClinton today for the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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Leaving Out People with Disabilities

Washington, July 22 – Sunday will be the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). President Barack Obama hosted a celebration at the White House on July 20th with prominent disability rights activists. In addition, several Republican presidential candidates including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, have talked about addressing disability rights and disability employment on the stump.

In contrast, the Democratic presidential candidates have not talked much about the importance of employing people with disabilities or addressing disability rights in general. On Friday July 17th, the five Democratic Party Presidential candidates – Lincoln Chafee, Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley, Bernie Sanders, and Jim Webb –attended the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame Dinner in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Each of the five candidates addressed the crowd and talked about issues that were important to them: raising the minimum wage, eliminating college debt, increasing human rights, et cetera. In spite of the upcoming 25th anniversary of the passage of the ADA, not a single candidate neither mentioned the word “disability” nor did they talk about the rights and/or employment of people with disabilities.

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Presidential Candidates: Web Accessibility is Easier Than You Think

Washington, July 21 – A candidate’s website should serve two purposes – to be the “brand” and welcome mat to the public and to be a tool for the voters to learn about platforms and stances on the issues. With each of these factors, it’s important to make sure the website is welcoming and accessible to all – including people who are vision or hearing impaired. We invite you to check out RespectAbility’s free webinar Introduction to Web Accessibility: Tips and Tricks (download the slides as well!) and a webinar on Disability Etiquette. Here are some helpful hints and tips that can help make a website more inclusive and accessible to all.

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Making YouTube Videos More Accessible: Add Captions

Washington, July 20 – One of the principal ways of ensuring your website is accessible is by adding captions to all of your videos. This is especially important for all of the presidential candidates. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 37.5 million American adults aged 18 and over report some trouble hearing, 25 percent of those aged 65 to 74 have disabling hearing loss, and 50 percent of Americans who are 75 and older have disabling hearing loss. According to the Hearing Health Foundation, nearly 50 million Americans have hearing loss in at least one ear, including one in five teenagers. All of these people – who also are eligible voters – could benefit from having captions on when watching videos.

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Sanders: Full Employment Needed for All

Washington, July 8 – Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont believes there is a need for a full employment plan for everybody, including those with disabilities, but has not yet laid out a plan about how to increase competitive integrated employment for people with disabilities in America.

Taking questions after a speech about rebooting the policy agenda to reclaim the American Dream, the Democratic presidential candidate emphasized the importance of being able to work but did not offer any suggestions for how he would help the disability community. 

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Perry’s Position on Disability Issues

Washington, July 2 – In a speech largely dominated by race and economic issues, Gov. Rick Perry outlined a plan for how he would “reignite the engine of economic growth.”

“The best welfare program is a job,” Perry said in an appearance at the National Press Club on Thursday. “The only true cure for poverty is a job.”

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.

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