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Date archive for: August 2015

Trump: Gun Violence Not Gun Problem; It’s a Mental Problem

Washington, August 28 – The shooting of two journalists on live television renewed conversations on two hot button topics – gun control and mental illness.

Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has come on the record against tightening gun laws, saying he is “a very strong Second Amendment person,” and instead doubled down on the need to institutionalized people who are mentally ill.

“This isn’t a gun problem; this is a mental problem,” Trump told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day.” “It’s not a question of the laws; it’s really the people.”

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Calling All Citizen Journalists

Washington, August 25 – As The RespectAbility Report continues to track all of the presidential candidates’ statements on disability issues, we are asking for our readers’ help. Since our staff is small, we need you to ask the candidates to talk about these important issues.

It’s simple. People with disabilities (PwDs) who attend an event with a presidential candidate and get us video of the candidate answering or addressing a question on disability issues will receive $50.

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RespectAbilityUSA Resource for Voters with Disabilities

Important Dates: Elections, Debates & Expos

September 10, 2015
Illinois – CD-18 Special General Election
Louisiana – Filing Deadline

September 16, 2015
CNN Republican Primary Debate
Location: Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA
Sponsors: Reagan Library Foundation, CNN, Salem Media Group
Moderator(s): Jake Tapper

September 18-20, 2015
Abilities Expo
Location: Boston

September 22, 2015
National Voter Registration Day

October 13, 2015
CNN Democratic Primary Debate
Location: Nevada
Sponsors: CNN, Nevada Democratic Party

October 16-19, 2015
Location: Virginia Beach

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Clinton Visits Coffee Shop Owned By Woman with Disability

Washington, August 24 – Em’s Coffee Company in Independence, Iowa may appear to have been just a stop for lunch – or on a tour of small businesses – for presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, but for the disability community, this visit last May means much more.

Em’s is run by Emilea Hillman, 26, with help from her mother Tami Fenner. Hillman has a congential condition causing a lack of nerve tissue connecting the left and right side of the brain.

Because of her intellectual disability, Hillman did not have an easy path to managing her own business. After graduating high school in 2007, Hillman worked in a sheltered workshop earning less than the minimum wage – just $2.50 an hour. Hanging clothes in a backroom, she found this task boring and tedious.

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Why Does Trump Call Everyone Stupid?

Washington, August 11 – Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has made no secret that he doesn’t like many people – and when he doesn’t like you, he’ll call you a “loser.” At the Fox News debate last week, Trump added another word: “stupid.” He uses these two words interchangeably to talk about other candidates, reporters, and people he doesn’t like.

“Our leaders are stupid,” Trump said when answering a question about immigration after laughing off his record of misogyny. “Our politicians are stupid.”

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Bob Wickers: Huckabee Values All Human Lives

Cleveland, August 8 – Gov. Mike Huckabee cares “as much for any human being regardless of their condition,” campaign spokesperson Bob Wickers told The RespectAbility Report following the Fox News debate in Cleveland Thursday evenig.

Read the full conversation below:

Q: Can you tell me what Gov. Huckabee’s message would be for people with disabilities –  the one in five Americans who has a disability?

Wickers: Well, I think he obviously is someone who thinks every human life is valuable no matter what. So his message would be, care as much for any human being regardless of their condition.

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Sununu on Kasich’s “Message of Inclusiveness”

Cleveland, August 8 – Representing Gov. John Kasich following the Fox News debate in Cleveland on Thursday evening, Sen. John Sununu discussed Kasich’s “message of inclusiveness.” Kasich would “build our economy up so we have the resources to make sure that people are not left behind,” Sununu added.

Read his entire interview:

Q: If I were a voter with a disability, what would the candidate’s message be to why they should vote for him?

Sununu: I think really John spoke to that issue  a couple of times tonight. The understanding that economic growth isn’t an end in and of itself. We build our economy up so we have the resources to make sure that people are not left behind. If they have a disability, a mental illness, a drug addiction, that they know that there is going to be someone there for them trying to ensure that they have as many opportunities as anyone else in society. And that’s the way John lives his life. That’s the way he’s served in Congress; that’s clearly the way he’s led here in Ohio.

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Mike DuHaime: Christie’s “Trying to Get People Back into the Workforce”

Cleveland, August 8 – Republican presidential hopeful Chris Christie is “trying to get people back into the workforce,” Mike DuHaime, the governor’s chief political strategist, said to The RespectAbility Report following the Fox News Debate Thursday evening. Read his entire interview:

Q: For the one in five Americans with a disability, what is the message that Gov. Christie carries for them? Why should they vote for him?

DuHaime: Well, certainly Gov. Christie is someone who worked hard in New Jersey as governor. He’s got a record working for and with people with disabilities. Certainly he’s done the right thing in terms of funding and doing things for programs. He’s got a record that backs up working with the community and fighting for them, so I think that will play out over time, probably, if we didn’t have any question on that at the debate tonight. He’s certainly gotten questions on it at town halls in New Hampshire. I think you continue to see that and he’ll articulate that.

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Birdwell: Cruz Fighting For “Citizens as a Whole”

Cleveland, August 8 – Texas State Sen. Brian Birdwell, speaking on behalf of Sen. Ted Cruz, said the Republican presidential hopeful wants every American, including people wth disabilities, to “be the best you can be with whatever ability you have.” Below is the interview he had with The RespectAbility Report following the Fox News Debate Thursday evening:

Q: We write for a disability publication specifically for Americans with disabilities. So you have a Governor with a disability and one out of five Americans has a disability.

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Fiorina’s National Co-Chair on Carly’s “Message of Inclusion”

Cleveland, August 7 – Charlie Gerow, Carly Fiorina’s National Co-Chair, shares his thoughts on the candidate’s “message of inclusion” for people with disabilities:

Q: What is Carly Fiorina’s plan to help people with disabilities enter the workforce?

Carly Fiorina’s entire campaign has been built around the theme of unlocking human potential. And particularly for those in the disability community, it’s a message of inclusion, of hope, of opportunity, of employment, and of truly unlocking their potential in every way.

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Executive Orders Can Create Jobs for People with Disabilities

Washington, August 7 – Yesterday during the Fox News “Happy Hour” Debate, several presidential candidates promised to revoke all executive orders signed by President Obama. Multiple candidates including former Virginia Gov. Gilmore, former New York Gov. George Pataki, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and former Sen. Rick Santorum expressed concern that presidential orders were costing Americans jobs.

“We’re going to suspend and repeal every executive order, every regulation that cost American jobs,” Santorum said.

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GOP Debate: Give Americans a Hand Up, Not a Handout

Cleveland, August 7 – During Thursday’s earlier Fox News Debate, Martha MacCallum asked the Republican presidential hopefuls about a top issue among not just people with disabilities but many voters – economy and jobs – for people who are receiving government assistance because of economic or disability needs.

“Eighty-two million Americans over the age of 20 are out of the workforce,” MacCallum began. “Forty-five million people in this country are on food stamps. Nine million are on disability. All of these numbers have been rising sharply in recent years. There is an increasing willingness in this country to accept assistance. How do you get Americans who are able to take the job instead of a handout?”

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Carson: Privately Fund Employment Programs for People with Disabilities

Cleveland, August 7 – Privately funded organizations, not the government, are the way to help people with disabilities obtain jobs, Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson told The RespectAbility Report following the Fox News debate Thursday evening.

“Most of our social problems can be taken care of by business, industry, academia, Wall Street, churches and community groups,” Carson said. “The government can serve as a very good facilitator for these things. That will work much better than the government trying to solve all these other problems. That was never what our government was designed for.”

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Jindal: Don’t Lose Government Assistance While Going Back to Work

Cleveland, August 6 – Gov. Bobby Jindal calls for government to work as an assistance, not as a barrier, for people with disabilities wanting to enter the workforce.

“We could change some of the incentives in our government programs to give folks the support, instead of an all or nothing approach, a more flexible approach,” Jindal said to The RespectAbility Report following the Fox News debate. “Folks, if they are able to, can use these programs to actually get jobs and become more self sufficient.”

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Gilmore: Grow Economy For All People

Cleveland, August 6 – The way to ensure people with disabilities have jobs is to grow the economy, former Gov. Jim Gilmore said after participating in the Fox News debate Thursday.

“If you grow the economy strong enough so that there’s lots and lots of work for people, I think people with disabilities would be sought after in order to fill a variety of different kinds of jobs,” the Republican presidential hopeful told The RespectAbility Report. “The challenge we see today is that are too few jobs for everybody. People with disabilities are often left behind. I don’t want to see that happen. I have no trouble with workforce training. I did that as governor. I have no trouble with caring for people who are disabled. I did that as governor. But the only longterm solution is to have such a robust economy there’s opportunities for them and for everybody else.”

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Graham: People with Disabilities, Keep Benefits While Starting Work

Cleveland, August 6 – Sen. Lindsey Graham has a plan for getting people with disabilities back to work and let them keep their government disability benefits too.

“If I were president, you could receive government benefits and work too. I don’t want to punish people who want to work,” Graham said to The RespectAbility Report after participating in the Fox News debate. “I want you to get back up on your feet if you can. I want you to enter the workforce and not have to worry about losing your benefits.”

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Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Democratic Party “Champion” of Diversity

Cleveland, August 6 – At a Democratic National Committee (DNC) press conference on the sidelines of the first Republican primary debate, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said the Democratic party is a “champion” of diversity.

The Florida congresswoman claimed that Democrats “ensured that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became the law of the land…that it was expanded and had broader reach.” It is important to note that the ADA was signed by President George H.W. Bush and the legislation was bipartisan.

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Nikki Haley: Jobs for people with disabilities should be campaign issue

Cleveland, August 5 – Gov. Nikki Haley is calling for more presidential candidates to discuss the importance of employing people with disabilities.

“Opportunity should be an issue in every campaign cycle,” the governor of South Carolina said in an exclusive interview with The RespectAbility Report in Cleveland. “Our goal is to get as many people back to work, whether it’s veterans, whether it’s those with disabilities, whether it’s those with challenges, and we’re finding that businesses in South Carolina want to help.”

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Pataki: We are Failing our Veterans

Cleveland, August 6 – Former Gov. George Pataki calls for more assistance for veterans who return with disabilities.

“When I think now of people with disabilities, what really comes to mind are veterans,” the Republican presidential hopeful said in an interview with The RespectAbility Report. “We should be doing far more for our veterans, both from the health standpoint obviously because our treatment of them is horrific. This government is failing our veterans’ health needs and that has got to change. But also assisting them with counseling, training and with jobs. Because ultimately the best social program is a job and we need to do that.”

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Kasich, Christie and Pataki Speak About Disability at New Hampshire Forum

Washington, August 5 – Leading up to the first Republican primary debate that will take place in Cleveland, Ohio tomorrow, several candidates are highlighting the importance of talking about disability issues on the campaign trail. In 2012, the Republican nominee Mitt Romney never talked about disability issues and it was not a topic of conversation during the primary. Although the majority of voters either have a disability or a family member or loved one with a disability, disability issues have not been adequately addressed by our public officials in the past.

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