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Date archive for: September 2015

Inaccessible Polling Places Disenfranchise Nation’s Largest Minority

Washington, Sept. 22 – Today, our nation observes National Voter Registration Day. It is a chance to celebrate our democratic society and to remind everyday people the importance of registering to vote. However, for many Americans, voting is not a quick and easy process. Physical and other barriers at polling places can make exercising the right to vote nearly impossible. In the 2008 election, only 27 percent of polling places were fully accessible to voters with disabilities. That means that at seven out of ten places to vote, people with disabilities were not able to make their voices, their values and their issues heard.

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Rehabilitation, Not Jail for Drug Offenders

Washington, Sept. 18 – During this week’s Republican debate, presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina shared a personal story while talking about criminal justice reform for drug offenders.

“I buried a child to drug addiction,” Fiorina said at the debate in Simi Valley, California.

Fiorina’s stepdaughter died in 2009 when she was 34 years old after a battle with prescription drugs and alcohol.

“Drug addiction is an epidemic,” Fiorina continued. “And it is taking too many of our young people. I know this sadly from personal experience.”

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Republican Presidential Candidates Debate Legality of Medical Marijuana for Epilepsy

Washington, Sept. 18 – In a conversation over state versus federal rates legislating the legality of marijuana, several Republican presidential candidates brought up the issue of cannabis oil for children living with epilepsy, a neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures.

Sen. Rand Paul claimed both former Gov. Jeb Bush and Gov. Chris Christie would put a mother in jail for giving her child cannabis oil. Both Bush and Christie denied the allegations.

“In Florida, Gov. Bush campaigned against medical marijuana,” Paul claimed during the CNN Debate Wednesday evening. “That means that a small child like Morgan Hintz (ph) that has seizures is failing on non-traditional medications, is not allowed to use cannabis oil.”

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Trump: Too Many Vaccines At Once Cause Autism

Washington, Sept. 17 – While there have been countless debates over the cause of autism and whether vaccines could be to blame, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump repeated claims that vaccines administered according to the recommended schedule cause autism.

“Autism has become an epidemic,” Trump said during the CNN Republican Debate Wednesday evening. “Twenty-five years ago, 35 years ago, you look at the statistics, not even close. It has gotten totally out of control. I am totally in favor of vaccines. But I want smaller doses over a longer period of time.”

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Disability Groups to Host Presidential Town Hall Meetings

Washington, Sept. 17 – The RespectAbility Report and RespectAbility USA, along with a growing list of nonprofit disability partner organizations (listed below), will host Online Presidential Candidate Town Halls on People with Disabilities, Jobs, and the American Dream. 

These town halls will be national, nonpartisan events that will connect the disability community with the presidential candidates. These online town halls will provide candidates with the opportunity to articulate their policy positions on the critical issues affecting Americans with disabilities and to describe their vision for ensuring that more people with disabilities can pursue the American Dream, just like anyone else.

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Sponsorship Opportunities: Online Presidential Candidate Town Halls

Washington, Sept. 17 – The RespectAbility Report and RespectAbility USA, along with a growing list of nonprofit disability partner organizations (listed below), will host Online Presidential Candidate Town Halls on People with Disabilities, Jobs, and the American Dream. 

These town halls will be national, nonpartisan events that will connect the disability community with the presidential candidates. These online events will provide candidates with the opportunity to articulate their policy positions on the critical issues affecting Americans with disabilities and to describe their vision for ensuring that more people with disabilities can pursue the American Dream, just like anyone else.

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Clinton Campaign Website Adds Page Dedicated to Disability Rights

Washington, Sept. 13 – Hillary Clinton is the first Democratic candidate to include a page on her website dedicated to people with disabilities.

Highlighting disability rights as one of the campaign’s issues, the site says, “We must continue to expand opportunities for all Americans.”

Making websites accessible for all people is not a difficult process, especially for presidential campaigns whose goal is to reach as many voters as possible. The Clinton campaign now joins the Jeb Bush campaign in ensuring that their videos have captions.

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Grassroots Disability Activists Create Facebook Pages for Clinton and Sanders

Washington, Sept. 10 – Social media is not a new tool for grassroots activists to galvanize supporters for their desired candidate. Three Facebook pages – two for Hillary Clinton and one for Bernie Sanders – highlight the presidential hopefuls’ stances on a variety of disability issues.

There are two competing Facebook groups focusing on the disability community for Clinton: People with Disabilities for Hillary, created April 13, and Hillary for the disABLED, created August 29. Neither page is sanctioned by the campaign, and both are run by supporters of the former Secretary of State.

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Bush: Taking Care of Developmentally Disabled is Core Value

Washington, Sept. 9 – In an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, former Gov. Jeb Bush talked about bringing people together and building up the economy.

When asked how he differs politically from his brother, the presidential hopeful criticized George W. Bush’s failure to reign in government spending, saying, “Our brand is limited government.”

However, Bush went on to say there are reasons to spend government money including helping people with disabilities.

“You can take care of people, people that need to be at the front of the line, the developmentally disabled, people that are really struggling,” Bush said. “That’s a core value of our party. But we shouldn’t spend so much money on everything else.”

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