Washington, D.C., June 13 – The Sanders campaign, which is the only one to have a dedicated page on its website for disability rights, has pledged continued accessibility in response to a question posed to all of the viable 2020 presidential candidates by RespectAbility, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that fights stigmas and advances opportunities for people with disabilities.
In terms of ensuring people with disabilities are fully included in their campaign, the Sanders campaign has pledged to ensure physically-accessible offices, plan ADA sections close to stages at events, prioritize bringing on ASL interpreters, offer captions on videos and ensure people with visible disabilities in their content. In addition, the campaign pledged to conduct “an accessibility audit on all web properties because we are committed to ensuring that accessibility is at the forefront of everything we build” and provide “mental health reimbursements for all staff.”
Sanders’ campaign participated in a nonpartisan briefing with RespectAbility on this topic. Seven other Democratic presidential campaigns also participated in such a briefing: Biden, Booker, Inslee, Klobuchar, Gillibrand, Warren and Yang. All viable campaigns were invited to participate in a general briefing or to schedule a briefing, and all are welcome to request a future briefing.
Each campaign has been asked to respond to the same question. We are presenting Sen. Sanders’s response in full below:
Q: How will you be ensuring that your campaign fully includes people with disabilities and intentionally speaks to people with disabilities?
A: Our campaign not only understands the inherent value that inclusivity and diversity affords to those fortunate enough to have it, Bernie 2020 strives to ensure that all people are considered as we make critical hires, plan for events, and work to create the world we want to see. Bernie believes we need a president who will champion expanding the rights of people with disabilities. Our campaign’s slogan “not me, us” speaks to the idea that no one candidate is capable of taking on Donald Trump and the billionaire class alone — and takes to heart the rallying cry of “nothing about us, without us.” Here are a few ways we’re working to ensure accessibility for all:
- Ensure offices are accessible to those with physical disabilities;
- Plan ADA sections close to stages, with volunteers to assist with seating and placement of wheelchairs and other assistance devices. The campaign prioritizes bringing on ASL interpreters;
- Offer comprehensive benefits — including an EAP and providing mental health reimbursements for all staff — focusing on mental health/wellbeing and cognitive disabilities;
- Offer captioning with videos, depict people with visible disabilities in our content, and dedicate space on our website for disability rights issues;
- Conducting an accessibility audit on all web properties because we are committed to ensuring that accessibility is at the forefront of everything we build;
- We will continue to reach out to a diverse group of PwDs to gather more information about what else we can be doing and how we can ensure they are able to join and/or support the campaign.
RespectAbility is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that fights stigmas and advances opportunities for people with disabilities. RespectAbility does not rate or endorse candidates. View more coverage of 2020 presidential candidates here: http://therespectabilityreport.org/category/2020-campaign. To learn more about the organization, visit our website at www.respectability.org.