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Category archive for: ADA

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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Celebrating ADA on the Sidelines of the DNC

Philadelphia, July 31 – Gathered in the city of brotherly love, more than a hundred disability activists celebrated the twenty-sixth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on Tuesday.

Current and former officials touted the importance of the ADA and focused specifically on disability employment and economic empowerment for people with disabilities.

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell talked about making employment for people with disabilities his platform while leading the National Governors’ Association – something he said other governors questioned.

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Growing Disability Council Highlights Importance of 400 Delegates with Disabilities

Philadelphia, July 27 – With 400 delegates self-disclosing a disability, the Disability Council is growing. Along with Disability Action for Hillary, the Council is energizing Americans with disabilities during the Democratic National Convention.

“Our goal is to get as many people all over the country involved with the campaign,” former California Rep. Tony Coelho said at the first meeting on Monday. “It is important for our community that everyone knows that we are committed, we are involved and we can make a difference in this election.”

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Harkin Highlights ADA at DNC in Show of Disability Inclusion, Pushes for Competitive Integrated Employment

Philadelphia, July 27 – The second night of the DNC began with a tribute to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which was celebrating its 26 years since it was signed into law. In doing so, it answered some disability activists’ criticisms that while the DNC has highlighted and included people with disabilities such as Anastasia Somoza on the first night, there had been little substantive conversation regarding disability issues on the main stage.

“We are a better nation because of the ADA. But we still have a way to go to build a truly inclusive America,” former Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin said. “When, 26 years later, 70 percent of adults with disabilities aren’t in the workforce, it’s time to take action. That’s why Hillary Clinton wants to ensure people with disabilities are judged by their potential and have the tools to secure competitive integrated employment.”

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Rabbis Protest Trump’s AIPAC Speech Over Disrespect for Minorities Including People with Disabilities

Washington, D.C., March 21 – Some Rabbis and other Jewish Americans are protesting Republican front-runner Donald Trump’s lack of inclusion for minorities, including people with disabilities, ahead of his scheduled speech to the AIPAC Policy Conference this evening.

While many of AIPAC’s delegates who oppose Trump speaking tonight are upset with the businessman’s violent rhetoric on groups like Muslims and Mexicans, the Republican front-runner also has verbally attacked individuals with disabilities, expanding stigmas that have been undermining people with disabilities for ages.

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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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Disability Groups to Host Presidential Town Hall Meetings

Washington, Sept. 17 – The RespectAbility Report and RespectAbility USA, along with a growing list of nonprofit disability partner organizations (listed below), will host Online Presidential Candidate Town Halls on People with Disabilities, Jobs, and the American Dream. 

These town halls will be national, nonpartisan events that will connect the disability community with the presidential candidates. These online town halls will provide candidates with the opportunity to articulate their policy positions on the critical issues affecting Americans with disabilities and to describe their vision for ensuring that more people with disabilities can pursue the American Dream, just like anyone else.

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Sponsorship Opportunities: Online Presidential Candidate Town Halls

Washington, Sept. 17 – The RespectAbility Report and RespectAbility USA, along with a growing list of nonprofit disability partner organizations (listed below), will host Online Presidential Candidate Town Halls on People with Disabilities, Jobs, and the American Dream. 

These town halls will be national, nonpartisan events that will connect the disability community with the presidential candidates. These online events will provide candidates with the opportunity to articulate their policy positions on the critical issues affecting Americans with disabilities and to describe their vision for ensuring that more people with disabilities can pursue the American Dream, just like anyone else.

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Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Democratic Party “Champion” of Diversity

Cleveland, August 6 – At a Democratic National Committee (DNC) press conference on the sidelines of the first Republican primary debate, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said the Democratic party is a “champion” of diversity.

The Florida congresswoman claimed that Democrats “ensured that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became the law of the land…that it was expanded and had broader reach.” It is important to note that the ADA was signed by President George H.W. Bush and the legislation was bipartisan.

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Kasich, Christie and Pataki Speak About Disability at New Hampshire Forum

Washington, August 5 – Leading up to the first Republican primary debate that will take place in Cleveland, Ohio tomorrow, several candidates are highlighting the importance of talking about disability issues on the campaign trail. In 2012, the Republican nominee Mitt Romney never talked about disability issues and it was not a topic of conversation during the primary. Although the majority of voters either have a disability or a family member or loved one with a disability, disability issues have not been adequately addressed by our public officials in the past.

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Jeb Bush: Empower People with Disabilities

Washington, July 31 – In celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), former Gov. Jeb Bush stressed the need to empower people with disabilities. Focusing his efforts on students and people entering the workforce, Bush touted his record as governor of Florida to illustrate his plans if he were to win the presidency.

“Florida has a significant number of citizens who live, learn and work with disabilities, and it is my fundamental belief that they should be given opportunities to do so with support, respect and dignity,” Bush wrote in The Journal by IJReview. “During my eight years in office, I worked to create policies and programs so that these citizens were no longer overlooked and they could enjoy greater independence and choice over the services they receive.”

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Hoyer: We’ve come a long way, but we’re not there yet

Washington, July 30 – “Yes we’ve come a far way, yes we’ve accomplished much, but we are strong in will to strive to seek to find and not to yield until we get to the real realization of that promise of the ADA and the promise of America,” Steny Hoyer (D- Md) said to applause at a rally hosted by the National Council for Independent Living (NCIL) on Capitol Hill Tuesday.

Hoyer has received great acclaim because of his work in the disability community. Twenty-five years ago when the American Disabilities Act (ADA) was in its early stages, Hoyer led the effort to pass the act.

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Sanders: People with Disabilities Need Jobs

Washington, July 29 – “In the year 2015, it is unacceptable that over 80 percent of adults with disabilities are unemployed,” Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders said to the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) during its rally on Capitol Hill Tuesday. “People need work. They need jobs.”

NCIL held its annual conference on Capitol Hill in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The act, signed into law by George H.W Bush, was designed to eliminate any discrimination of people with disabilities from public spaces, transportation, and employment. However, since its passing, not much has changed by way of employment of people with disabilities. NCIL advocates for the rights of people with disabilities and featured speakers who helped stress this message during its rally.

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Cathy McMorris Rodgers: Every Opportunity for Those with Disabilities to Live American Dream

Washington, July 29 – “We want every opportunity for those with disabilities to have the opportunity to live the American Dream,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) said during a rally hosted by the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) on Capitol Hill Tuesday.

“We celebrate those who went before us and opened up so many more opportunities: early intervention and IDEA [Individuals with Disabilities Education Act], and the opportunity to go to school but, you know what, there’s more work to be done. We want to live independently, we want to work.”

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Walker Proclaims ADA 25th Anniversary Day

Washington, July 28 – Gov. Scott Walker proclaimed that Sunday, July 26, 2015, is Americans with Disabilities Act 25th Anniversary Day.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990 by President George H.W. Bush and was immediately lauded as a breakthrough for people with disabilities. This act prohibits the discrimination of people living with disabilities, enabling millions of Americans with disabilities to go into schools, civic institutions, and the workforce to create a better future for themselves and their families.

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Clinton Campaign Marks ADA Anniversary; Hands Over Twitter Account to Inspiring Mom Sara

Washington, July 27 – As people around the country celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Clinton campaign handed over its Twitter account to a disability advocate and mom named Sara.

Sara, a nurse from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, used the opportunity to share the story of her 16-year-old son Adam, who has Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (a severe form of epilepsy), with Clinton’s nearly four million Twitter followers.

I’m Sara—mom, nurse & lifelong Iowan. I’m taking over @HillaryClinton today for the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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Leaving Out People with Disabilities

Washington, July 22 – Sunday will be the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). President Barack Obama hosted a celebration at the White House on July 20th with prominent disability rights activists. In addition, several Republican presidential candidates including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, have talked about addressing disability rights and disability employment on the stump.

In contrast, the Democratic presidential candidates have not talked much about the importance of employing people with disabilities or addressing disability rights in general. On Friday July 17th, the five Democratic Party Presidential candidates – Lincoln Chafee, Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley, Bernie Sanders, and Jim Webb –attended the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame Dinner in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Each of the five candidates addressed the crowd and talked about issues that were important to them: raising the minimum wage, eliminating college debt, increasing human rights, et cetera. In spite of the upcoming 25th anniversary of the passage of the ADA, not a single candidate neither mentioned the word “disability” nor did they talk about the rights and/or employment of people with disabilities.

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