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Author archive for: LAppelbaum

Candidates Who Support Opportunities for People with Disabilities Won Big

Washington, D.C., Nov. 19 – Key senate and gubernatorial candidates from both sides of the political aisle who support opportunities for people with disabilities won big this election, showing that disability rights is a winning issue.

There are 56 million people with disabilities (one in five Americans), more than 35 million of whom are eligible voters (one-sixth of the electorate). According to a recent survey, 74 percent of likely voters have a disability themselves or have a family member or a close friend with disabilities. Voters are more likely to support candidates who prioritize ensuring that children with disabilities get the education and training they need to succeed as well expanding job and career opportunities for people with disabilities.

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Disability Advocates Cardin and Hogan Win Re-Elections

Rockville, Maryland, Nov. 9 – Both Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin successfully defended their seats against their challengers, Ben Jealous and Tony Campbell. Hogan and Cardin’s success shows that disability rights is a nonpartisan issue.

This past year was a year of steady job growth in Maryland. Last year, 5,944 people with disabilities got new jobs. In total, there are 334,505 working-age people living with disabilities in Maryland. That total includes people who are blind or deaf or have other visible conditions such as spinal cord injuries, as well as people with invisible disabilities including learning disabilities, mental health or Autism. Among them, 137,517, or 41.1 percent have jobs. In comparison, 80.2 percent of working-age residents of Maryland without disabilities are employed. Maryland ranks 17th compared to the rest of the country for employment of people with disabilities.

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Disability Advocates Casey and Wolf Win Re-Elections

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Nov. 9 – Both Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and Sen. Bob Casey, Jr., successfully defended their seats against their challengers, Scott Wagner and Lou Barletta. Each of these individuals have spoken about the importance of including the more than 1.7 million Pennsylvanians living with a disability in society – from education to employment to health care.

“I am delighted that Pennsylvania has spoken so resoundingly in favor of two public servants who have been consistent supporters, in word and deed, of Pennsylvanians with disabilities,” said RespectAbility Board Member Richard G. Phillips, Jr., of Lima, Pennsylvania. “Gov. Wolf and Sen. Casey can now get back to the important work of creating more opportunity for all Pennsylvanians, regardless of disability.”

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Disability Supporter Wolf Wins Gubernatorial Re-Election in Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Nov. 7 – Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has won re-election, defeating Republican challenger Scott Wagner for Pennsylvania’s governorship.

Recently Wolf affirmed his commitments on jobs for Pennsylvanians with disabilities in a proclamation sent to RespectAbility in October in honor of Disability Employment Awareness Month. RespectAbility is a nonpartisan, nonprofit national organization working to end stigmas and advance opportunities for people with disabilities.

“Workplaces that welcome the talents of all people, including people with disabilities, are a critical part of efforts to build an inclusive community and strong economy,” wrote Wolf in his proclamation. “This month will reinforce the value and talent people with disabilities add to our workplace and communities and affirm Pennsylvania’s commitment to be an inclusive community.”

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Disability Supporter Hogan Wins Maryland Gubernatorial Re-Election

Rockville, Maryland, Nov. 7 – Republican Gov. Larry Hogan has won re-election, defeating Democratic challenger Ben Jealous for Maryland’s governorship.

In the weeks prior to the election, Hogan made new commitments on jobs for people with disabilities in a proclamation sent to RespectAbility in October in honor of Disability Employment Awareness Month. RespectAbility is a nonpartisan, nonprofit national organization working to end stigmas and advance opportunities for people with disabilities.

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Disability Advocate Bob Casey Keeps Pennsylvania Seat in U.S. Senate

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Nov. 6 – Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, Jr., successfully defended his seat against Republican challenger Lou Barletta, who had hoped to unseat Casey in Pennsylvania.

Earlier this campaign season, Casey completed a disability issues questionnaire for Senate and gubernatorial candidates put out by RespectAbility, a nonpartisan, nonprofit national organization working to end stigmas and advance opportunities for people with disabilities. The questionnaire included 10 questions on topics important to people with disabilities and those close to them. Despite repeated requests to his campaign, Barletta did not respond to the questionnaire.

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Vital Disability Voter 2018 Info

Washington, D.C., Nov. 6 – Below you will find two up-to-the-minute resources to help you this election:

  1. Straight Q&A’s with candidates on disability issues organized by state. If you do not see a candidate from a senate or gubernatorial race, or local candidates in New York City and Los Angeles, it is because the candidate chose not to answer the questionnaire. RespectAbility is nonpartisan and all candidates were given an equal chance to make voters aware of their views on disability issues.
  2. Apps and information on where to vote, how to vote and who to contact if there is an issue. As voters go to the polls, it is vital to know that voters with disabilities have every right to vote. If you have a problem voting due to lack of access for disability, contact 866-OUR-VOTE, or other resources listed below, immediately. Please let us know as well by emailing LaurenA@RespectAbility.org.

Now please go vote! The disability community is 56 million citizens strong. Show your power at the ballot box!

RespectAbility and The RespectAbility Report are nonpartisan and do not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes. Below are links to detailed answers to the questionnaire. Every major party candidate for senate and governor, as well as local candidates in New York City and Los Angeles, was given an equal opportunity to address these issues and if they are not listed, it is because they declined to answer.

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Disability Voter Resource Guide 2018

Washington, D.C., Nov. 4 – As voters head to the polls, many are concerned about various access issues from physical accessibility to voter ID laws. This is a federal election year; additionally, many state legislative seats, state executive offices, local offices and ballot amendments will be voted on. We’ve compiled resources provided by general Election Day voter rights organizations as well as those provided by various disability groups.

See below for apps and information on where to vote, how to vote and who to contact in case there is an issue. Voters with disabilities have every right to vote. If you have a problem voting due to lack of access for disability, contact 866-OUR-VOTE to talk to lawyers on hand to answer Election Day questions and concerns about voting procedures, or other resources listed below, immediately. Please let us know as well by emailing LaurenA@RespectAbility.org. Did we miss an important resource? Share with us and we’ll update this guide.

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Political Candidates Highlight Disability Issues

Washington, D.C., Oct. 27 – As voters head to the polls, candidates for U.S. Senate and governor, as well as local candidates in New York City and Los Angeles, have outlined their views on ensuring equal employment opportunities for the one-in-five Americans with a disability by responding to a questionnaire by the disabilities advocacy group RespectAbility.

Candidates from all sides of the aisle completed the questionnaire, showing that disability rights is a nonpartisan issue. The responses also are geographically-diverse, coming from states around the country, as politicians are paying more attention to the disability community.

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Andrew Gounardes Completes NYC Disabilities Questionnaire

New York City, Oct. 26 – Responding today to a questionnaire by the disability advocacy group RespectAbility, Andrew Gounardes, who is running for New York State Senate District 22 in Brooklyn, outlined his views on education, employment and stigma for the 948,000 people with disabilities living in New York City. That includes people who are blind or deaf or have other visible conditions such as spinal cord injuries, as well as people with invisible disabilities including learning disabilities, mental health or Autism.

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Los Angeles Area Candidates Highlight Disability Issues

Los Angeles, California, Oct. 26 – As voters head to the polls, candidates for California State Assembly and Senate in the Los Angeles area have outlined their views on ensuring equal educational and employment opportunities for the 987,522 people with disabilities in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area by responding to a questionnaire by the disabilities advocacy group RespectAbility.

“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.”

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New York City Candidates Highlight Disability Issues

New York City, Oct. 26 – As voters head to the polls, candidates for New York State Senate and Assembly have outlined their views on ensuring equal educational and employment opportunities for the 948,000 people with disabilities living in New York City by responding to a questionnaire by the disabilities advocacy group RespectAbility.

“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.”

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Harvey Epstein Completes NYC Disabilities Questionnaire

New York City, Oct. 26 – Responding today to a questionnaire by the disability advocacy group RespectAbility, Harvey Epstein, who recently won the election for New York State Assembly District 74, outlined his views on education, employment and stigma for the 948,000 people with disabilities living in New York City. That includes people who are blind or deaf or have other visible conditions such as spinal cord injuries, as well as people with invisible disabilities including learning disabilities, mental health or Autism.

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Robert Jackson Completes NYC Disabilities Questionnaire

New York City, Oct. 26 – Responding today to a questionnaire by the disability advocacy group RespectAbility, Robert Jackson, longtime former City Council Member who is running for New York State Senate District 31, outlined his views on education, employment and stigma for the 948,000 people with disabilities living in New York City. That includes people who are blind or deaf or have other visible conditions such as spinal cord injuries, as well as people with invisible disabilities including learning disabilities, mental health or Autism.

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With 60.1% of Hawaiians with Disabilities Out of Work, Ige, Curtis and Tupola Discuss Job Prospects

Honolulu, Hawaii, Oct. 25 – With 60.1 percent of Hawaii’s 66,031 working-age people with disabilities out of work, incumbent Democratic Gov. David Ige, his Republican opponent, State Sen. Andria Tupola and Republican Senate challenger Ron Curtis each responded to a questionnaire by the disabilities advocacy group RespectAbility, outlining their views on training and hiring people with disabilities.

In his responses to 10 questions submitted by the organization, Gov. Ige noted that nationally and in Hawaii, many individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities “have been placed in ‘prevocational’ programs and segregated workshops where they are paid sub-minimum wages with little expectation of moving into integrated employment.”

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With 58% of Nevadans with Disabilities Out of Work, Heller, Rosen and Sisolak Discuss Job Prospects

Carson City, Nevada, Oct. 25 – With 58 percent of Nevada’s 198,826 working-age people with disabilities out of work, incumbent U.S. Sen. Dean Heller and Democratic U.S. Sen. nominee Jacky Rosen, as well as Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Sisolak, all have responded to a questionnaire by the disabilities advocacy group RespectAbility, outlining their views on training and hiring people with disabilities.

In his responses to 10 questions submitted by the organization, Sisolak discussed the importance of addressing the stigma faced by persons with disabilities and its effect on their employment prospects.

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With 57.3% of Coloradoans with Disabilities Out of Work, Polis Discusses Job Prospects

Denver, Colorado, Oct. 25 – With 57.3 percent of Colorado’s 308,342 working-age people with disabilities out of work, Democratic gubernatorial candidate and U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-2nd District) has responded to a questionnaire by the disabilities advocacy group RespectAbility, outlining his views on training and hiring people with disabilities.

In his responses to 10 questions submitted by the organization, Rep. Polis repeatedly cited his work in starting two nonprofits, TechStars and Operation Bootcamp, that helped those in underrepresented communities and returning veterans start their own businesses.  Project Bootcamp, he noted, “specifically works with veterans and their families, many of whom live with a disability.”

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With 46% of North Dakotans with Disabilities Out of Work, Heitkamp Discusses Job Prospects

Bismarck, North Dakota, Oct. 25 – With 46 percent of North Dakota’s 43,089 working-age people with disabilities out of work, incumbent Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp has issued an official response to a questionnaire by the disabilities advocacy group RespectAbility, outlining her views on training and hiring people with disabilities.

In responses to 10 questions submitted by the organization, Heitkamp said that “one of the best ways to reduce the stigmas surrounding people with disabilities in employment is to get people with disabilities working jobs and let them show people firsthand everything that people with disabilities have to offer a workplace.”

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With 55.3% of Kansans with Disabilities Out of Work, Kelly Discusses Job Prospects

Topeka, Kansas, Oct. 25 – With 55.3 percent of Kansas’ 188,671 working-age people with disabilities out of work, Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Senate Minority Whip Laura Kelly has responded to a questionnaire by the disabilities advocacy group RespectAbility, outlining her views on training and hiring people with disabilities.

In her responses to 10 questions submitted by the organization, Kelly recalled that “one of my proudest accomplishments in the legislature was securing critical support for early childhood education programs” that said “help kids develop at an early age, identify any challenges they may face, and impact their families for the better.”

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With 54.1% of Iowans with Disabilities Out of Work, Hubbell Discusses Job Prospects

Des Moines, Iowa, Oct. 25 – With 54.1 percent of Iowa’s 175,367 working-age people with disabilities out of work, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fred Hubbell issued a statement in response to a questionnaire by the disabilities advocacy group RespectAbility, outlining his views on training and hiring people with disabilities.

While declining to respond to 10 questions submitted by the organization, Hubbell issued a statement that was critical of Iowa’s decision to privatize Medicaid, which he called “a disaster.”

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