Des Moines, Iowa, Jan. 11 – Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said he’ll be working on a plan to provide more opportunities for autistic adults to work.
Jane, a self-described autistic woman, asked Trump for a plan to help “autistic adults like myself get employed.”
“We’re going to work on it,” he replied on Saturday in Clear Lake, Iowa. “You’ll be happy. Just watch.”
Trump’s proclamation comes days after Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton unveiled her plan focusing on autism, including calls for public-private partnerships to help young adults with autism become employed.
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. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of 68 children is on the Autism spectrum.
“Autism has become an epidemic,” Trump said during a CNN Republican Debate in September. “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.”
Even though experts including Ari Ne’eman, president of Autistic Self Advocacy Network, have shown a wealth of scientific evidence debunking any link between autism and vaccinations, Trump has a history of making these claims.
“My theory is the shots,” Trump said in 2007. “We’ve giving these massive injections at one time, and I really think it does something to the children.”
Trump has promised to make “spreading them out” as part of his presidential agenda.
If I were President I would push for proper vaccinations but would not allow one time massive shots that a small child cannot take – AUTISM.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 27, 2014
Yet he has not talked about plans to help people with disabilities obtain employment. As a candidate running on his jobs record, Trump could interest the disability community with a specific plan on jobs for people with disabilities.