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.
“We have been a champion as a party when it comes to diversity, including adopting the broadest ever participation goals in our convention,” Wasserman Schultz added.
The Chairwoman also used the opportunity to criticize the Republican party.
“Republicans have assaulted (the Voting Rights Act),” she said when asked about accessible voting locations. “They have done everything they can to shrink access to the polls.”
“Talk is cheap, actions speak louder than words,” Wasserman Schultz continued. “They have passed aggressive laws to make it harder, not easier for large populations of Americans to cast a ballot…I have seen no evidence whatsoever that they would do anything except throw more platitudes at these groups.”
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed under Democratic President Johnson and passed by a 77-19 margin in the Senate and a 333-85 margin in the House of Representatives. The law has been amended five times, in 1970, 1975, 1982, 1992, and 2006, all under Republican administrations. One provision in the Voting Rights Act is Section 208 which says that people who “need assistance in voting due to blindness, disability, or the ability to read or write…may be given assistance by a person of the voter’s choice, other than the voter’s employer or agent of the employer or officer or agent of the voter’s union.”
The DNC website does have a section on people with disabilities. On employment, it says “the Obama Administration has made significant investments in vocational rehabilitation services to help with job training, education and placement, and increased funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.” Unfortunately the website does not use automatic captions on their videos.