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Author archive for: Philip Pauli

Dannel Malloy Links Medicaid, Mental Health and Employment for People with Disabilities

Washington, March 1 – Employment opportunities for people with disabilities are critically linked to other important issues such as Medicaid and mental health support. per Gov. Dannel Malloy of Connecticut.

Malloy said his state his ‘”working hard… to make sure we are expanding opportunities for people with disabilities and differences.”

Addressing a press conference hosted by the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) Saturday, on the sidelines of the National Governors Association Winter Meeting, the Democratic governor also talked about the importance “of taking care of people in other ways, including healthcare.”

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Brian Sandoval Speaks with Pride about Jobs for Nevadans with Disabilities

Washington, Feb. 28 – Speaking abut the improving economy of Nevada, Gov. Brian Sandoval said “it has to be an economy that is available to everyone,” especially for Nevadans with disabilities.

Speaking with The RespectAbility Report on the sidelines of the National Governors Association’s Winter Meeting, the Republican governor stressed the importance of disability employment. He highlighted the inclusive hiring efforts being done by Starbucks at their Carson Valley Roasting Plant and Distribution Center in Minden, Nevada. In 2015, Sandoval visited the graduation ceremony for the inaugural class of Starbucks Inclusion Academy graduates. The Inclusion Academy is an “on-the-job training program for people with cognitive and physical disabilities” that prepares them for exciting careers at the global coffee giant’s largest distribution plant. One of the plant’s employees, a Special Olympics athlete named Shawn Stainbrook said that “going to work at Starbucks”…gave him “goals” and taught him to “never give up.”

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Matt Mead on Wyoming’s First in the Nation Standing on Jobs for People with Disabilities

Washington, Feb. 27 – With 57 percent of their citizens with disabilities employed, the state of Wyoming has good reason to be proud. Speaking with The RespectAbility Report at the National Governor’s Association’s Winter Meeting, Gov. Matt Mead credited Wyoming’s “culture and heritage” for why his state has the highest employment rate for people with disabilities of any state in the nation.

Mead says this culture is part of a common desire to “make sure we are doing our best for every one of our citizens.” Mead added that people in his state understand that what is “best for our state” is “giving every citizen an opportunity.”

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Asa Hutchinson Talks about Jobs for People with Disabilities in Arkansas

Washington, Feb. 27 – According to Gov. Asa Hutchinson, jobs matter because “everybody, no matter of a disability or not, has a desire to work, a desire to contribute and to be meaningful in life.”

Speaking at the National Governors Association Winter Meeting, the Republican governor of Arkansas also emphasized the critical impact of employment in terms of “opportunity” and “fulfillment” and the sense of “really contributing something.”

People with disabilities face serious physical, attitudinal and economic barriers to entering the workforce and earning an income. In Arkansas alone, there are 264,777 working-age people with disabilities. Out of that number, 81,376 have jobs for a total employment rate of 30.7 percent. That percentage puts Arkansas at 43 out of all 50 states. However, the employment rate for people with disabilities in Arkansas is slowly trending upward. Between 2014 and 2015, 4,016 Arkansans with disabilities entered the workforce. Looking at RespectAbility’s 2016 Best and Worst States Report, Arkansas has risen in the ranking, up to 43rd in the nation from 45th last year.

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Doug Ducey Talks Civics Education and Students with Disabilities at NGA

Washington, Feb. 26 – At a special session of the National Governors Association’s Winter Meeting, Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona focused on the importance of civics education for all students, including children with disabilities. He introduced a video presentation from the Joe Foss Institute about the lack of civic knowledge and political engagement among young people today.

“It’s cute when a 5-year-old doesn’t know who the current president is,” Ducey said to the audience gathered at the NGA. “But when 10 percent of our college graduates believe that Judge Judy sits on the Supreme Court, it’s not that funny.”

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Kate Brown Celebrates Curb Cut Movement at NGA Winter Meeting

Washington, Feb. 26 – Speaking this weekend, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s focus was firmly on job opportunities for all Oregonians, including people with disabilities.

“We will be working hard to make sure that Oregon’s economy continues to thrive,” the Democratic governor said at this weekend’s National Governors Association Winter Meeting. “It’s about jobs; it’s about kids. It’s about making sure that Oregonians have the door of opportunity open for them.“

Responding to a question from RespectAbility’s reporting staff about workforce development, Brown immediately talked about curb cuts and social activism as a metaphor to talk about building an inclusive economy.

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Recognizing the Impact of Voters with Disabilities on National Voter Registration Day

Washington, Sept. 27 – Today, we celebrate National Voter Registration Day. With the election only 41 days away, time is running out for people to complete their voter registration. As we encourage all voters to ensure they are registered, it also is important to call attention to the importance of voting rights by talking about barriers that keep people from exercising their right to vote.

This day comes at a critical time not only for the presidential election but also for the one in five Americans who have a disability. The electoral power and political impact of voters with disabilities are being recognized like never before. From front page news stories in the New York Times and the Washington Post to groundbreaking political research by Pew Research Center and Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight, Americans with disabilities are being recognized as a potentially decisive voting bloc. Just this past week, Hillary Clinton delivered a major speech about disability employment.

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Recognizing the Power of Voters with Disability: Polling, Marching, Voting

Washington, Sept. 20 – Last week, statistician Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight blog published an in-depth article examining the potential electoral impact of voters with disabilities in the 2016 election. This article, entitled “One in Six Eligible Voters Has A Disability,” documents in great detail the diverse demographics of the disability community and describes some of the crucial barriers impacting voting rights for people with disabilities.

Reporting on a new study from Rutgers University, FiveThirtyEight stated that “approximately one-sixth of November’s electorate will be comprised of people with disabilities” for a total of “34.6 million” eligible voters with disabilities. This new report also finds that the number of eligible voting-age people with disabilities is growing faster than potential voters without disabilities.

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Burr Campaign Launches Television Ad Touting Work on ABLE Act

Washington, Sept. 12 – One week after incumbent Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) completed RespectAbility’s #PwDsVote candidate questionnaire on disability issues, the campaign supporting his reelection efforts launched a new television ad focused on disability.

This new statewide political ad describes how the North Carolina Republican worked to get the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act passed and how this law empowers people with disabilities to save money without fearing the loss of essential benefits. The ad features a North Carolina family with two children on the Autism Spectrum and discusses how the entire family benefits from these new 529 savings accounts.

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Gov. Malloy Opens DNC by Owning his Own Disabilities

Philadelphia, July 25 – “I am here today to tell you a story of hope,” Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, before speaking about his life and experiences as a person with multiple disabilities.

“It’s a story of a young boy with physical and severe learning disabilities,” Malloy said.

He related his early experiences and how “reading and writing were almost impossible” for him.

“A child thought to be, as the term was used in the early 1960s, ‘mentally retarded’ as late as the fourth grade. A boy who could not tie a shoe or button his shirt until the fifth grade. Someone who knew the harsh words of bullies on the playground and discrimination in the classroom.”

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Carson Calls for Bold Reform of VA

Washington, Nov. 11 – Today, our nation observes Veterans’ Day. It is a moment for our country to pause and celebrate the brave men and women who have served in the Armed Forces. This date also is an opportunity to discuss the way our nation cares for veterans.

In 2014, multiple scandals brought the harsh light of public scrutiny to the system of care provided to veterans through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Earlier this year, former neurosurgeon and Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson weighed in on the challenges facing the VA. As Carson pushes ahead in the polls to becoming a GOP’s frontrunner, it is important to examine what the doctor has said about caring for our nation’s veterans.

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Kasich Touts Record as Job Creator

Boulder, Oct. 29 – Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich wasted no time in attacking his opponents and emphasizing his economic record as governor of Ohio during last night’s CNBC debate.

In his opening statement, Kasich was quick to argue that his opponents’ talk of “getting rid of Medicare and Medicaid” was “fantasy.” He said that Washington needs such qualities as “hard work,” “fiscal discipline,” and “creativity” –  qualities he claims to have had during his career as a congressman and governor.

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Trump Perpetuates Stigma around Mental Health with Talk of “Sickos”

Boulder, Oct. 29 – In campaign events across the country, Donald Trump has been quick to use the word “stupid” when talking about the perceived incompetence of political leaders. He has also been quick to emphasize his view that those who are mentally ill are likely to carry out violent gun acts.

At last night’s CNBC Republican primary debate, Trump said gun-free zones are “target practice for the sickos and for the mentally ill.” 

Trump also said he would support lifting gun restrictions at his properties and that he has a gun permit. “I think gun-free zones are a catastrophe, they’re a feeding frenzy for sick people,” he said.

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To Save Medicare, Huckabee Says Fight Chronic Disease

Boulder, Oct. 29 – In an effort to stand out on the crowded stage of the CNBC Republican debate, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee offered a different perspective on addressing income inequality and the cost of Medicare.

“We need to be focusing on what fixes this country,” the presidential hopeful said. “Instead of cutting benefits for old people, cutting benefits for sick people, why don’t we say ‘let’s cure the four big cost-driving diseases?’”

Huckabee identified diabetes, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s as critical conditions affecting our country and in need of action.

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Jeb: Workforce Participation Rates Lower Than in 1977

Boulder, Oct. 29 – With the American economy in focus at last night’s CNBC debate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush connected dysfunction in Washington with decreasing workforce participation rates and the continuing need for optimism.

When asked about his challenging race, Bush emphasized his belief that “the great majority of…Americans believe in a hopeful future.” He then focused on the continuing challenges facing millions of people working only part-time and living in poverty.

“They’re concerned that Washington is so dysfunctional it is holding them back,” Bush said. “There are lids on people’s aspirations. Think about it: six and a half million people working part-time. Workforce participation rates lower than they were in 1977.”

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O’Malley On “Dignity of Work” for People with Disabilities

Boulder, Oct. 28 – While the night’s spotlight was shining on the CNBC Republican Primary Debate, Democratic presidential hopeful Martin O’Malley walked along the paths of the University of Colorado at Boulder campus. In a conversation with The RespectAbility Report, the former governor of Maryland said, “people with disabilities labor under a disproportionally high unemployment rate.”

These comments reflect the economic challenge and harsh reality facing our nation’s 21 million working-age people with disabilities. 321,409 Marylanders between the ages of 18 and 64 have a disability. Of that number, just four out of 10 are currently employed.

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Steve Wynn: Business Magnate, Casino Owner and Person with a Disability

Las Vegas, Oct. 13 – Tonight, the nation gathers to watch the Democratic Presidential Debate take place at the Wynn Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. While the focus is on the candidates, there is another deserving of a share of the spotlight. That person is none other than the Wynn’s owner, Steve Wynn.  Wynn’s name is synonymous with glittering and opulent towers, high stakes, and business success. What you may not know about him is that he also happens to be a person with a disability.

Wynn, age 71, is vision impaired because of retinitis pigmentosa. Like others with this condition, Mr. Wynn’s peripheral vision has been impacted and with it, his interactions with the world around him. While you won’t find much about it on Wikipedia, Wynn has never let his vision differences keep him from reshaping the world around him. His name, his image, and his success have had a huge impact on the world of casinos and the hospitality industry.

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Inaccessible Polling Places Disenfranchise Nation’s Largest Minority

Washington, Sept. 22 – Today, our nation observes National Voter Registration Day. It is a chance to celebrate our democratic society and to remind everyday people the importance of registering to vote. However, for many Americans, voting is not a quick and easy process. Physical and other barriers at polling places can make exercising the right to vote nearly impossible. In the 2008 election, only 27 percent of polling places were fully accessible to voters with disabilities. That means that at seven out of ten places to vote, people with disabilities were not able to make their voices, their values and their issues heard.

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Executive Orders Can Create Jobs for People with Disabilities

Washington, August 7 – Yesterday during the Fox News “Happy Hour” Debate, several presidential candidates promised to revoke all executive orders signed by President Obama. Multiple candidates including former Virginia Gov. Gilmore, former New York Gov. George Pataki, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and former Sen. Rick Santorum expressed concern that presidential orders were costing Americans jobs.

“We’re going to suspend and repeal every executive order, every regulation that cost American jobs,” Santorum said.

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