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With 64.3% of Illinoisans with Disabilities Out of Work, Pritzker Discusses Job Prospects

Springfield, Illinois, Oct. 25 – With 64.3 percent of Illinois’ 679,862 working-age people with disabilities out of work, Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker has responded to a questionnaire by the disabilities advocacy group RespectAbility with a statement outlining his views on training and hiring people with disabilities.

Rather than responding specifically to ten questions put to him in the questionnaire, Pritzker instead replied with a statement that included six “principles for an inclusive administration.”

Pritzker’s six principles include an assertion that “public policy decisions that impact people with disabilities should not be made without people with disabilities,” and that ”people with disabilities deserve to live meaningful, independent lives that are integrated and included in the community.”

Pritzker said that people with disabilities “deserve to choose where they live and receive individualized services to meet their needs.”

“Our nation was founded on the principle that anyone who works hard should be able to get ahead in life,” said RespectAbility’s president, Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi. “People with disabilities deserve equal opportunity to earn an income and achieve independence just like anyone else.”

RespectAbility also reached out repeatedly to Pritzker’s opponent, incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, but received no response to the questionnaire from him, according to Mizrahi.

Pritzker’s full statement follows:


J. B. Pritzker headshot

People with disabilities deserve real options that provide them with the supports they need to live independent, meaningful lives that are integrated and included in the community. We can do this by improving and increasing access to a range of reliable supports designed to meet the individualized needs of people with disabilities, and by expanding access to economic opportunity.

It’s also vital that policy decisions that impact people with disabilities are made with and by people with disabilities. People with disabilities will play an integral role in my administration. 

JB’s principles for an inclusive administration:

  • Public policy decisions that impact people with disabilities should not be made without people with disabilities;
  • People with disabilities deserve to live meaningful, independent lives that are integrated and included in the community;
  • People with disabilities deserve to choose where they live and to receive individualized services designed to meet their needs;
  • People with disabilities deserve stable, reliable support from caregivers who earn a living wage;
  • People with disabilities deserve equitable access to education, housing, health care, preventive health services, human services, transportation, and other general state services;
  • People with disabilities deserve access to expanded economic opportunities.

RespectAbility is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that fights stigmas and advances opportunities for people with disabilities. RespectAbility does not rate or endorse candidates. You can see more candidate responses at http://therespectabilityreport.org/category/pwdsvote-2018-questionnaire/. To learn more about the organization, visit our website at www.respectability.org.

Published in#PwDsVote 2018 QuestionnaireGovernors

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