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Category archive for: RNC

How do Convention Goers at the RNC with Disabilities Feel about Trump and Republican Party?

Note: RespectAbility, a nonpartisan nonprofit, is attending both conventions. We sought out attendees with disabilities to hear their thoughts about the convention. In this piece, we take a look at their opinions about Republican nominee Donald Trump, the Republican Party as a whole and the policies they would like to see in the future.

Cleveland, July 21 – As the Republican National Convention comes to a close tonight, disability remains a little discussed issue. With just a statement by Eric Trump that his father is running for “families with special needs children,” the word disability was not mentioned a single time throughout the entire convention on the main stage.

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Who is Brock Mealer, the Motivational Speaker with a Disability, who Spoke Thursday Night at the RNC?

Cleveland, July 22 – “Mr. Trump, welcome to the club,” Brock Mealer said excitedly while standing at the podium of the Republican National Convention on Thursday night.

The club he is referring to is the group of people who can say they overcame one percent odds and achieved success. According to stats cited by Mealer, Republican nominee Donald Trump was given a one percent chance to receive the Republican nomination for President of the United States last year. Mealer’s story is different.

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RNC Delegates with Disabilities Talk Accessibility

Note: RespectAbility, a nonpartisan nonprofit, is attending both conventions. We sought out attendees with disabilities to hear their thoughts about the convention. In this piece, we take a look at physical accessibility concerns.

Cleveland, July 22 – While disability rights have not been discussed during the Republican National Convention, delegates and guests with physical disabilities have found the convention to be fully accessible.

“I’m amazed, they got ramps everywhere they need a ramp, and they have been overly protective and helpful,” said Kay Durdan of Florida, who uses a wheelchair.

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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 families with special needs children, to middle class families who no longer can afford medical benefits sufficient to cover their everyday needs, my father is running for you.”

Until Eric Trump’s speech, no other primetime convention speaker had mentioned disability directly in his or her speech. Yet one-in-five people in America have a disability, and more than half of American voters have a close family member or friend with a disability.

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Who is Margo Hudson, the Woman who Recited the Pledge of Allegiance at the RNC?

Cleveland, July 20 – Margo Hudson passed the GED test in 2012 on her sixth try after deciding to start studying for her degree when she was 45 years old.

Four years later, Hudson delivered the Pledge of Allegiance during the third evening of the Republican National Convention.

While Hudson was not given an opportunity to share her story, it is an important one to tell.

She grew up on the South Side of Chicago with little support from her family or school. Her learning disability went undiagnosed and she dropped out of high school in the tenth grade.

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Second Night of RNC Elects to Make Only Some of America Work Again

Cleveland, July 20 – Following Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” last night’s theme of the Republican National Convention was “Make America Work Again.” A more appropriate title might have been “Make Some of America Work Again,” as the employment of people with disabilities was entirely ignored. In fact, much of the night’s speakers focused extensively on attacking presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, rather than talking about the headlining issue.

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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 represented all people, but neglected to mention people with disabilities.

“[Donald Trump] offers a new direction, welcoming change, prosperity and greater cooperation among peoples and nations,” Melania said Monday evening. “Donald intends to represent all of the people- not just some of the people. That includes Christians and Jews and Muslims. It includes Hispanics and African-Americans and Asians, and the poor and the middle-class.”

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Blind Singer Marlana VanHoose Blows Away Republican Convention with National Anthem

Cleveland, July 18 – The first night of the Republican National Convention opened with a moving performance of the Star Spangled Banner by Marlana VanHoose, a young woman who has been blind from birth and diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of two.

“I love this country. It is a complete honor to be chosen to honor my country on this platform at the Convention,” said VanHoose.

VanHoose was born with Cytomeglovirus and her optic nerve never formed. Her parents were told she would not live past the age of one. But she proved doctors wrong and by the age of two, she was singing and playing the piano.

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Kasich Boycotts RNC, Signs Two Bills Addressing Developmental Disabilities

Cleveland, July 18 – Ohio Gov. John Kasich is not attending the Republican National Convention, even though it’s taking place in his state. The former Republican presidential hopeful, who has not endorsed presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, says he is focusing on his state instead.

Kasich often talked about disability issues while on the campaign trail and recently signed into law two bills addressing developmental disabilities for the state of Ohio.

“Helping Ohioans with developmental disabilities has been a priority and I’m pleased to sign House Bill 158 and House Bill 483 to help us build upon our progress,” Kasich said in a Facebook post. “Thank you to Rep. Jonathan Dever and Rep. Ron Amstutz for their leadership. We are showing the nation the good we can achieve by working together, across the aisle.

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