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Category: Donald Trump

The State of the Union and Addressing Disability Issues

Washington, D.C., Feb. 7 – Often presidential addresses to the nation fail to include people with disabilities and the state of their lives. However, President Donald J. Trump did not make that mistake in this year’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night. He mentioned Americans with disabilities and issues relevant to the disability community: employment, medical research and health care.

Unemployment for Americans with Disabilities Reached an All-Time Low

President Trump standing behind the podium of the House of Representatives, with Vice President, Mike Pence (on the left) and the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (on the right) seated behind him. Behind all three hangs the United States Flag. Trump, in proudly announcing our country’s strong economy, pointed to our record low unemployment numbers. When declaring these statistics for communities of color, he also boasted of an “all-time low” in unemployment for Americans with Disabilities.

Between 2015 and 2016, there was an astounding four-fold increase in the number of new jobs created for Americans with disabilities, going from 87,201 new jobs to 343,483. And from February 2016 until May 2018, there was a steady improvement in the unemployment situation for people with disabilities, reaching an all-time low.

However, in the last year, unemployment for Americans with Disabilities has stagnated. It increased by one tenth of a percentage appoint, from 29.9 percent in January 2018 to 29.8 percent in January 2019. Thus, the current unemployment rate for working-age non-institutionalized Americans with disabilities is at approximately 70.2 percent. See nTIDE January 2019 Jobs Report: Job Numbers Hold Steady for Americans with Disabilities. 

Polling Shows People with Disabilities Split Vote Between Trump and Clinton

Near unanimous bipartisan agreement that a candidate should treat people with disabilities with dignity and respect

Download the slide presentation with all poll data (PDF or accessible PPT).

Washington, Dec. 14 – Two separate bipartisan polls showed results that may surprise Washington insiders: voters with disabilities and their family and friends voted in big numbers for President-elect Donald Trump. While polls showed that many voters felt Trump made fun of people with disabilities, he was seen as stronger on changing Washington and failed economic policies that hold people with disabilities back.

RespectAbility, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for people with disabilities, commissioned questions on two different national polls.

In a bipartisan pre-election and election night survey conducted by Lake Research Partners and The Tarrance Group, voters with disabilities split their votes between President-elect Trump (46 percent) and Secretary Hillary Clinton (49 percent). On the same poll, voters with disabilities identified themselves as 41 percent Democrat, 21 percent Independent and 31 percent Republican, demonstrating that on Election Day more Independents with disabilities voted for Trump than Clinton.

In an earlier poll by Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg PhD of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and Republican pollster Whit Ayres PhD of North Star Opinion Research from late October, more voters with disabilities (40 percent) supported Trump compared to voters with no connection to the disability community (36 percent). The survey also showed that people with disabilities were more likely to say that the country is on the “wrong track” (59 percent) than were those without any disability connection (54 percent).

The Clinton campaign, especially nearing the end of the cycle, had publicly shared a strong slate of issues to improve the lives of people with disabilities in America. However, the polling showed that those messages did not break through to voters. In a heated campaign that focused on a variety of issues, a majority of voters did not see or hear anything positive from Trump or Clinton about their policies or plans for people with disabilities. While voters were more likely to say they had heard from Clinton, still 60 percent did not hear anything positive while another eight percent responded they did not know. Clinton provided position papers on the advancement of people with disabilities and held a rally in Florida on these issues. While this was covered in print media, it did not make it into the television news cycle in a meaningful way.

Just 19 percent of voters reported seeing or hearing anything positive from Donald Trump about his policies, experience or plans for people with disabilities while 69 percent had not and 12 percent did not know.

Among voters with disabilities and their friends and family, the economy and jobs was the most important issue in deciding for whom to vote. Most important issues for people with disabilities: Economy and jobs: 22% Healthcare: 22% Terrorism: 21% Education: 10% Dsyfunction in government: 19% Immigration: 13% Environment: 11% Social Security: 17% Taxes: 5 % Budget deficit: 5 % Medicare: 11% Crime: 6% Prescription drug costs: 5% Other: 3%

The economy and jobs continued to dominate the election landscape. Nearly one-third of voters said the economy and jobs (27 percent) were the most important issues in deciding their vote. Healthcare, terrorism and national security, and education round out the top tier of concerns (21 percent, 18 percent, and 18 percent respectively), followed by dysfunction in government (15 percent) and immigration (14 percent). While voters with disabilities mirrored the electorate on many issues, they were more likely to care about dysfunction in government (19 percent vs. 15 percent), Social Security (17 percent vs. 10 percent) and Medicare (11 percent vs. six percent) when comparing with the general public.

Voters universally agreed (90 percent, 78 percent “very important”) that it is important that a candidate for elected office treats people with disabilities with dignity and respect. While overall numbers were strong across party lines, 94 percent of Clinton voters agreed that this value was “very important” compared to 61 percent of Trump voters.

“We are heartened that there is almost unanimous support for positive policies for Americans with disabilities,” said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, president of RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for people with disabilities, who commissioned the two polls.

Voters with disabilities tend to be less educated and experience poverty at greater levels than other Americans. Indeed, only 1-in-3 working-age people with disabilities in America has a job.

Honoring All Veterans on Veterans Day: What are Trump’s policies for veterans with disabilities?

Washington, Nov. 11 – As the nation celebrates Veterans Day, it is important to truly remember our veterans and ensure we are taking care of their needs. One of their top priorities is employment. Government policies that help veterans with disabilities get and keep jobs are a win-win because they allow…

Trump Cabinet Possibilities: Where is the Disability Representation?

Washington, Nov. 10 – RespectAbility has obtained an internal document from the Trump transition team titled “Trump Cabinet Possibilities.” We have been told the people listed below currently are being vetted for 22 key posts within the Trump administration. Looking at the list, it is clear that few of the people have any…

Disability Issues Missing At Second Presidential Debate

Washington, Oct. 10 – For last night night’s town hall style debate, ABC and CNN welcomed questions submitted via the Open Debate Coalition’s portal. All of the top 30 questions that moderators promised to consider received more than 20,000 votes, and an important disability rights question had nearly 12,000 votes. Yet none…

Trump’s PTSD Statements Further Stigma on Mental Health

Donald Trump wearing a black suit, white shirt and red tie seated while holding a microphone and speaking Washington, Oct. 6 – Earlier this week, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said that “strong” veterans do not have mental health problems like post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), implying that those who do are “weak” and “can’t handle it.”

“When you talk about the mental health problems, when people come back from war and combat, they see things that maybe a lot of the folks in the room have seen many times over. And you’re strong and you can handle it, but a lot of people can’t handle it,” Trump said to a room full of military veterans during an event in Northern Virginia on Monday morning. “And they see horror stories, they see events that you couldn’t see in a movie — nobody would believe it.”

People with mental health disabilities, especially in the military, often do not seek help because of stigma surrounding mental health issues and the idea that asking for help is seen as being weak. When a major party presidential candidate perpetuates the idea that PTSD is a sign of weakness, that is dangerous for veterans and other people with PTSD who may not disclose their symptoms for fear that they are a sign of weakness.

Eric Trump Says Father is Running for Families with Special Needs Children: Voters Waiting on Plan Details

Cleveland, July 21 – Eric Trump had one message to the Republican National Convention last night – his father is “running for you” – and, for the first time since the convention began Monday afternoon, his speech included America’s largest minority group – people with disabilities. “To single mothers, to…

First Night of RNC Neglected Disability, Missing Opportunity for Voter Outreach

Cleveland, July 19 – The first night’s theme of the Republican National Convention was “Make America Safe Again,” but all of the speakers neglected to talk about the safety of America’s largest minority – people with disabilities. This was especially evident in Melania Trump’s speech when she said her husband…

Clinton SuperPAC Continues to Target Trump on his Treatment of People with Disabilities

Washington, June 27 – The television ads attacking Donald Trump for his treatment of people with disabilities continue as Priorities USA, a pro-Clinton superPAC, released another ad targeting Trump’s treatment of people with disabilities. Like the superPAC’s previous ad Grace, this ad focuses on Trump apparently mocking a New York…

New Clinton SuperPAC Ad Attacks Trump on Disability Issues

Washington, June 8 – The newest ad by Priorities USA, a pro-Clinton superPAC, puts disability front and center in swing states. As Clinton became the presumptive Democratic nominee with her wins on Tuesday, Priorities USA is attacking Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s character. Featuring the Chris and Lauren Glaros of…

Clinton: It Matters When Trump Makes Fun of Disabled People

Washington, June 3 – In a speech outlining reasons Hillary Clinton finds Donald Trump to be unqualified for president, the likely Democratic nominee included Trump’s assumed mocking of a journalist with disability as one such reason among her lambasting of the presumptive Republican nominee on his foreign policies. “And it also matters…

Will Bernie, Hillary or Trump Win the California Disability Vote?

5.9 Million Eligible Voters with a Disability in California Washington, June 2 – Next week’s California primary is being called the final battleground for the Democratic primary. While Hillary Clinton is expected to secure the nomination in New Jersey, which also goes to the polls on June 7, California has become an…

Trump: “I’ve spent a lot of money making buildings accessible”

Washington, May 19 – In an attempt to fix his battered image, presumptive Republican nominee is addressing some of the controversies of his presidential campaign – including his perceived attack on a reporter with a disability. During an interview with The Washington Post, Trump delivered an unprompted speech on this…

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…

Trump Dominates Republican Field as Disability Champion Jeb Bush Exits the Race

Washington, Feb. 22 – With Donald Trumps’ easy victory in South Carolina on Saturday, he left no doubt that he is the Republican front-runner for the party’s nomination. As Trump continues to insult people – recently attacking the Pope and Apple, and previously people with disabilities – his poll numbers…

Trump Says He’s Hired People with Disabilities, Discusses Plan To Stop Drug Addiction

Urbandale, Iowa, Jan. 15 – When a grieving father with a son who died of a heroin overdose asked Donald Trump how he’ll address this epidemic, the presidential hopeful said he’s going to stop the drug traffic from coming in through Mexico. “We’re going to build a wall,” he said…

Trump Tells Autistic Adult She’ll Be “Happy” with Employment Plan

Des Moines, Iowa, Jan. 11 – Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said he’ll be working on a plan to provide more opportunities for autistic adults to work. Jane, a self-described autistic woman, asked Trump for a plan to help “autistic adults like myself get employed.” “We’re going to work on…

In New Ad, Kasich Calls Out Trump for Mocking Reporter with a Disability

Washington, Dec. 1 – In a new ad, Ohio Gov. John Kasich takes a shot at Donald Trump for publicly poking fun at an award-winning reporter with a congenital joint condition. The ad, titled “Is he worthy,” says Trump is too heartless to be president and not worthy to follow in the footsteps…

Donald Trump’s Attacks on People with Disabilities

Washington, Nov. 28 – By publicly poking fun at an award-winning reporter who has significant physical disabilities, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump expanded stigmas that have been undermining people with disabilities for ages.  It’s now been more than 25 years since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). True, physical architecture…

Trump Commits To More Jobs & Better Health Care For Veterans, People With Disabilities

Newton, Iowa, Nov. 20 – Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump said, “I will” when asked if he is committed to getting more veterans and people with disabilities employed. “You gotta give them hope, build their spirit,” Trump said during a town hall Thursday night in Newton, IA. “The unemployment numbers don’t…