Washington, Sept. 30 – With just 38 days until Election Day, RespectAbility is calling on all candidates for governor or Senate to complete the #PwDsVote Senate & Gubernatorial Disability Questionnaire. “PwDs” stands for “people with disabilities.” So far, Hillary Clinton and 30 candidates for Senate or Governor from both parties have done so. Now we’re calling on you to help to encourage the remainder. A number of candidates, including Donald Trump, have yet to fill out a nonpartisan candidate questionnaire on issues vital to America’s 56 million citizens with disabilities!
The down-ballot responses received so far are from candidates on both sides of the aisle – with 18 from Democrats and 12 from Republicans, demonstrating how disability rights is a nonpartisan issue. The responses also are geographically-diverse, coming from states all around the country.
Call and tweet candidates and demand that they respond to the questionnaire. Tell them why it’s important to you!
This is the first time down-ballot candidates have been asked to complete a questionnaire about disability-related issues on such a wide scale. The answers to these questionnaires are being posted on The RespectAbility Report and will be used for individualized state voter guides.
Why are we focusing on candidates for governor and U.S. Senate? The reason is simple. We hope that voters who care about disability issues will have the opportunity to compare how the candidates respond to the same questions in their own words.
The questionnaire itself has been written in a way that is acceptable for 501c3 nonprofits, is nonpartisan and is not electioneering. RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes.
The linked Excel list (shown below with some information as well) includes candidates’ email addresses, phone numbers, appropriate contact person (where we could identify) and Twitter handles. When a candidate responds, the spreadsheet is updated in real-time to include a link to their responses that have been posted on The RespectAbility Report.
Early voting starts soon, and many members of the disability community vote absentee. The responses will be used for individualized state voter guides presenting answers from all candidates in their Senate and/or gubernatorial races. The RespectAbility Report also will be covering these races from a disability angle throughout the political season.
Sample Tweets (replace @ with the candidate’s Twitter handle):
- @ Please fill out @Respect_Ability’s #PwDsVote disability questionnaire: bit.ly/PwDsVoteQ. We’re 20% of country!
- @ Don’t ignore 1-in-5 Americans! Fill out @Respect_Ability’s #PwDsVote disability questionnaire: bit.ly/PwDsVoteQ
Email and call the candidates’ HQ or email their campaign office. Please find a table of contact information below, which is accurate as of Thursday, September 29. The linked Excel document will be updated in real-time as candidates submit more responses or new contact information is shared.
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30 Senate and gubernatorial candidates have responded to the #PwDsVote Senate & Gubernatorial Disability Questionnaire so far! Help RespectAbility encourage all candidates to respond so we can learn more about their views on issues for people with disabilities. (link to post: http://bit.ly/PwDsVote30)
* Please tag RespectAbility when you post to Facebook
Email Lauren Appelbaum: firstname.lastname@example.org.
RespectAbility and TheRespectAbilityReport are nonpartisan and do not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes.
(As of September 29, 2016 – will be updated throughout season)
|State||Name||Email Address||Twitter Handle||Response|
|DE – R||Colin Boniniemail@example.com||@colinbonini||http://bit.ly/PwDsVoteBonini|
|DE – D||John Carneyfirstname.lastname@example.org||@john_carney|
|IN – D||John Greggemail@example.com||@GreggForGov|
|IN – R||Eric Holcombfirstname.lastname@example.org||@HolcombForIN|
|MO – R||Eric Greitens||Press@EricGreitens.com||@EricGreitens|
|MO – D||Chris Kosteremail@example.com||@Koster4Missouri||http://bit.ly/PwDsVoteKoster|
|MT – D||Steve Bullockfirstname.lastname@example.org||@BullockForMT|
|MT – R||Greg Gianforteemail@example.com||@GregForMontana||http://bit.ly/PwDsVoteGianforte|
|NH– D (lost primary)||Derek Dextrazefirstname.lastname@example.org||@derekdeztraze||http://bit.ly/PwDsVoteDextraze|
|NH – R||Chris Sununuemail@example.com||@ChrisSununu|
|NH – D||Colin Van Osternfirstname.lastname@example.org||@ColinVanOstern|
|NC – D||Roy Cooperemail@example.com||@roycoopernc|
|NC – R||Pat McCroryfirstname.lastname@example.org||@PatMcCroryNC|
|ND – R||Doug Burgumemail@example.com||@DougForDakota||DECLINED TO RESPOND|
|ND – D||Marvin Nelsonfirstname.lastname@example.org||@nelsonfornd|
|OR – D||Kate Brownemail@example.com||@KateBrownForOR|
|OR – R||Bud Piercefirstname.lastname@example.org||@BudPierce4Gov||http://bit.ly/PwDsVotePierce|
|UT – R||Gary Herbertemail@example.com||@HerbertForUtah|
|UT – D||Mike Weinholtzfirstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com||@mikeforutah||http://bit.ly/PwDsVoteWeinholtz|
|VT – D||Sue Minterfirstname.lastname@example.org||@SueMinterVT||http://bit.ly/PwDsVoteMinter|
|VT – R||Phil Scottemail@example.com||@philscott4vt||http://bit.ly/PwDsVoteScott|
|WA – R||Bill Bryantfirstname.lastname@example.org||@BillBryantWA||http://bit.ly/PwDsVoteBryant|
|WA – D||Jay Insleeemail@example.com||@JayInslee|
|WV – R||Bill Colefirstname.lastname@example.org||@BillColeWV|
|WV– D||Jim Justiceemail@example.com||@justiceforwv|
(As of September 26, 2016 – will be updated throughout season)
|State||Name||Email Address||Twitter Handle||Response|
|AL – R||Richard Shelbyfirstname.lastname@example.org||@SenShelby|
|AL – D||Ron Crumptonemail@example.com||@Crumpton_US_Sen||http://bit.ly/PwDsVoteCrumpton|
|AK – R||Lisa Murkowskifirstname.lastname@example.org||@lisamurkowski|
|AK – D||Ray Metcalfeemail@example.com,
|AZ – R||John McCainfirstname.lastname@example.org||@TeamMcCain|
|AZ – D||Ann Kirkpatrickemail@example.com||@ann_kirkpatrick|
|AR – R||John Boozmanfirstname.lastname@example.org||@boozman4AR|
|AR – D||Conner Eldridgeemail@example.com||@connerforar|
|CA – D||Kamala Harrisfirstname.lastname@example.org||@KamalaHarris||http://bit.ly/PwDsVoteHarris|
|CA – D||Loretta Sanchezemail@example.com||@Loretta2016||http://bit.ly/PwDsVoteSanchez|
|CO – D||Michael Bennetfirstname.lastname@example.org||@BennetForCO|
|CO – R||Darryl Glennemail@example.com||@darrylglenn2016||DECLINED TO RESPOND|
|CT – D||Richard Blumenthalfirstname.lastname@example.org||@SenBlumenthal|
|CT – R||Dan Carteremail@example.com||@dancarterct||DECLINED TO RESPOND|
|FL – D||Patrick Murphy||info@MurphyforFlorida.com||@PatrickMurphyFL|
|FL – R||Marco Rubiofirstname.lastname@example.org||@marcorubio|
|FL – R (lost primary)||Dwight Youngemail@example.com||@dy4senate2016||http://bit.ly/PwDsVoteYoung|
|GA – R||Johnny Isaksonfirstname.lastname@example.org||@JohnnyIsakson|
|GA – D||Jim Barksdale||info@JimBarksdale.com||@jimbarksdale|
|HI – D||Brian Schatzemail@example.com||@brianschatz|
|HI – R||John Carollfirstname.lastname@example.org||@carroll4senate|
|ID – R||Mike Crapoemail@example.com||@crapo4senate|
|ID – D||Jerry Sturgillfirstname.lastname@example.org||@sturgill4idaho|
|IL – D||Tammy Duckworthemail@example.com||@tammyforIL|
|IL – R||Mark Kirkfirstname.lastname@example.org||@markkirk||http://bit.ly/PwDsVoteKirk|
|IN – D||Evan Bayhemail@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org||@EvanBayh||DECLINED TO RESPOND|
|IN – R||Todd Youngemail@example.com||@ToddYoungIN||DECLINED TO RESPOND|
|IA – R||Chuck Grassleyfirstname.lastname@example.org||@ChuckGrassley|
|IA – D||Patty Judgeemail@example.com||@pattyforiowa|
|KS – R||Jerry Moranfirstname.lastname@example.org||@moranforkansas|
|KS – D||Patrick Wiesneremail@example.com||@wiesner4senate|
|KY – R||Rand Paulfirstname.lastname@example.org||@RandPaul2016|
|KY – D||Jim Grayemail@example.com||@grayforKentucky|
|LA – R||Charles Boustanyfirstname.lastname@example.org||@cboustanyjr||DECLINED TO RESPOND|
|LA – D||Foster Campbellemail@example.com||@campbellforLa||http://bit.ly/PwDsVoteCampbell|
|LA – R||Joseph Caofirstname.lastname@example.org|
|LA – D||Caroline Fayardemail@example.com||@FayardforSenate||http://bit.ly/PwDsVoteFayard|
|LA – R||John Flemingfirstname.lastname@example.org||@FlemingforLA|
|LA – R||John Kennedyemail@example.com||@JohnKennedyLA|
|LA – R||Rob Manessfirstname.lastname@example.org||@RobManess||DECLINED TO RESPOND|
|LA – R||Abhay Patelemail@example.com||@patelforLA||http://bit.ly/PwDsVotePatel|
|LA – D||Josh Pellerinfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|MD – R||Kathy Szeligaemail@example.com||@KathyforMD||http://bit.ly/PwDsVoteSzeliga|
|MD – D||Chris Van Hollenfirstname.lastname@example.org||@VanHollenForMD||http://bit.ly/PwDsVoteVanHollen|
|MO – R||Roy Bluntemail@example.com||@RoyBluntMO|
|MO – D||Jason Kanderfirstname.lastname@example.org||@JasonKander||http://bit.ly/PwDsVoteKander|
|NV – R||Joe Heckemail@example.com||@heck4nevada||http://bit.ly/PwDsVoteHeck|
|NV – D||Catherine Mastofirstname.lastname@example.org||@catherinefornv||http://bit.ly/PwDsVoteMasto|
|NH – R||Kelly Ayotteemail@example.com||@KellyAyotte||http://bit.ly/PwDsVoteAyotte|
|NH – D||Maggie Hassanfirstname.lastname@example.org||@Maggie_Hassan||http://bit.ly/PwDsVoteHassan|
|NY – D||Chuck Schumeremail@example.com||@chuckschumer|
|NY – R||Wendy Longfirstname.lastname@example.org||@wendylongny|
|NC – R||Richard Burremail@example.com||@burrforsenate||http://bit.ly/PwDsVoteBurr|
|NC – D||Deborah Rossfirstname.lastname@example.org||@deborahrossnc||http://bit.ly/PwDsVoteRoss|
|ND – R||John Hoevenemail@example.com||@hoeven4senate||DECLINED TO RESPOND|
|ND – D||Eliot Glassheim||info@Eliot4ND.com||@eliot4nd|
|OH – R||Rob Portmanfirstname.lastname@example.org||@robportman|
|OH – D||Ted Strickland||press@TedStrickland.com||@Ted_Strickland|
|OK – R||James Lankfordemail@example.com||@jameslankford|
|OK – D||Mike Workman||Workman4OK@gmail.com||@workmanistan|
|OR – D||Ron Wydenfirstname.lastname@example.org||@wydenfororegon|
|OR – R||Mark Callahan||Mark@CallahanForOregon.com||@callahan4oregon|
|PA – D||Katie McGintyemail@example.com||@KatieMcGintyPA||http://bit.ly/PwDsVoteMcGinty|
|PA – R||Pat Toomeyfirstname.lastname@example.org||@PatToomey|
|SC – R||Tim Scottemail@example.com||@votetimscott|
|SC – D||Thomas Dixonfirstname.lastname@example.org||@dixonforsenate|
|SD – R||John Thuneemail@example.com||@johnthune|
|SD – D||Jay Williamsfirstname.lastname@example.org||@jay4senate||http://bit.ly/PwDsVoteWilliams|
|UT – R||Mike Leeemail@example.com||@MikeLeeforUtah|
|UT – D||Misty Snow||Genevra@mistyksnow.com||@mistyksnow|
|VT – D||Patrick Leahyfirstname.lastname@example.org||@patrickleahy||http://bit.ly/PwDsVoteLeahy|
|VT – R||Scott Milneemail@example.com||@milneforvt|
|WA – D||Patty Murrayfirstname.lastname@example.org||@MurrayCampaign|
|WA – R||Chris Vanceemail@example.com||@chrisvance123|
|WI – D||Russ Feingoldfirstname.lastname@example.org||@russfeingold||http://bit.ly/PwDsVoteFeingold|
|WI – R||Ron Johnsonemail@example.com||@ronjohnsonwi|
The images below, which show the 50 states of the United States, are color-coded according to the responses we have received:
- Green if all candidates in the race have responded
- Yellow if one but not all candidates in the race responded
- Orange if none of the candidates have responded
|Gubernatorial Races||Senate Races|
These are the questions RespectAbility submitted to the campaigns. They also provided each candidate with a 10-page resource guide to help with answering these questions. View it here: bit.ly/PwDsVoteQ.
Please first start by answering YES or NO regarding if you have a plan/answer on this issue or not. Then include specific details of your plan up to 250 words for each answer. In addition, if you have more to say on an issue, please link back to the appropriate place on your website for people to learn more.
- Do you have designated advisors and clear processes for making decisions on disability issues? If yes, please describe.
- Is your campaign accessible and inclusive to people with disabilities? If yes, please describe.
- Do you have a proven record on improving or a plan to improve the lives of people with disabilities? If yes, please describe.
- Do you have a plan/commitment to reduce the stigmas about people with disabilities that are barriers to employment, independence and equality? If yes, please describe.
- Do you have a proven record on enabling, or a plan to enable, people with disabilities to have jobs, careers and to start their own businesses? Do you have specific strategies for youth employment for people with disabilities and/or sector strategies such as jobs and careers in STEM, hospitality, healthcare and elder care? If yes, please describe.
- Do you have a plan to enable students with disabilities, including those from historically marginalized communities and backgrounds, to receive the diagnosis, Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and accommodations/services they need to succeed in school and be prepared for competitive employment? If yes, please describe.
- Do you have a plan to reform the benefits system (Medicaid, Medicaid buy-in) to enable people with disabilities to work to the best of their capacities without losing supports they need to work? If yes, please describe.
- Do you have a plan to ensure people with disabilities are eligible for affordable health insurance regardless of pre-existing conditions? If yes, please describe.
- Do you have a plan to provide home and community-based services to people with disabilities who would rather live in their own homes instead of institutions, and have the community attendant supports they need to work? If yes, please describe.
- Do you have a plan to ensure that individuals with disabilities receive services that would prevent them from being swept up into the criminal justice system, divert individuals with disabilities who are arrested to treatment options in lieu of jail where appropriate, receive needed accommodations in the criminal justice process and while incarcerated, and offer appropriate re-entry support to help individuals with disabilities leaving jails and prisons re-integrate into their communities and secure jobs? If yes, please describe.
- People with disabilities are twice as likely to be victims of crime as those without disabilities. People with disabilities also are far more likely to suffer from police violence, partially because manifestations of disability can be misunderstood as defiant behavior. Do you have a plan to address these issues? If yes, please describe.
- Both children and adults with disabilities are more likely to be victims of rape or sexual assault. Do you have a plan to address this issue? If yes, please describe.
- Do you have a plan for veterans with disabilities facing barriers transitioning from active duty to civilian employment? If yes, please describe.
- Do you have a plan for accessible, affordable, integrated housing to allow people with disabilities to live in the communities where they work or are seeking work? If yes, please describe.
- Do you have a plan to address the lack of accessible transportation options that is a barrier to work for people with disabilities? If yes, please describe.
- Do you have a plan to advance innovations (i.e., assistive technologies, devices) that can help people with disabilities become more successfully employed, productive and independent? If yes, please describe.
- (SENATORS ONLY) In your foreign policy and national security plan, do you plan to continue America’s tradition of standing up for the rights of oppressed people, including people with disabilities, around the world? If yes, please describe.